Lieberman and McCain Turn Up Heat for Carbon Limits

Democratic National Committee view of McCain-Lieberman hearings on climate change.

Published: 09-Jan-2003

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There is an increasingly solid scientific consensus about the reality and the probable sources of global climate change. There's also growing evidence that the Bush Administration's obstinate refusal to deal with the problem is seriously damaging our influence around the world at the very time we need more allies in the war on terrorism and other challenges.

But in Washington, the forces of denial and status quo on this issue remain very strong. Shortly after assuming office, the president repudiated his own campaign pledge to "cap" electric utility emissions of carbon dioxide -- one of the main "greenhouse gases" -- and also unilaterally torpedoed the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the product of many years of U.S. efforts to create an international framework for dealing with the problem. More recently, the Administration has proposed to study the problem a bit longer, without admitting it's a study that will simply prove what we already know about greenhouse gases and climate change.

And at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has moved from the greenish James Jeffords (I-VT) to his polar opposite, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). Inhofe has made it clear already that he's not going to entertain any legislation on carbon emissions or global climate change any time soon.

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