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Fw: [GreenYes] Bush and Climate Change

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eric" <>
To: "Peter Anderson" <>
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2001 1:31 PM
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Bush and Climate Change

Thanks Peter .... I just returned from England where the
targets of the Kyoto Agreement are alive and well in the
public discussion of the Europeans I met, and similiarly
the Kyoto targets are in active policy discussions in
New Zealand ... so, for the WSJ to say that Bush has
"killed the Kyoto Treaty on climate change" it is not only
wrong, but it is a great example of how the corporate media
uses its position as mainstream mouthpiece to send small
bits of misinformation (propaganda?) into our culture on a
daily basis.  The WSJ and Bush may wish that that Kyoto
is dead, and that particular international treaty may have been
fatally wounded, but its not dead, nor is the issue of our
responsibility as the largest climate-wrencher on the planet.

last note ... the Bush strategy of going so far extreme on energy
that the utilities get to "look green" is a brilliant "blitzkreig" strategy
for an Administration that knows it may have only four years to
advance the interests of the Seven Sisters (Big Oil), and, to knock
the enviro community back not just on our heels, but on our asses,
so that it takes so much organizational energy and money to
stand back up that our efforts at mounting a positive alternative to
Bush in 2004 is seriously undermined ... ... ... how's it feel to watch
the tanks driving through our town?  I feel like we've become an
"occupied" culture, and we're all standing on the sidewalks watching
the victors dictate the new rules... and even the utility CEO's get to
wear a green patch on their arm bands as they parade past us on
the shoulders of the major media...


Peter Anderson wrote:

>     A devastating article on the front page of yesterday's Wall Street Journal ("Utilities May Be Greener Than Bush ," by David Wessel) raises substantial questions whether Mr. Bush, in his drive to placate the extreme far off-the-charts right wing, has -- as James Watt did 20 years earlier -- moved completely off the political spectrum. To be right of englightened industry leaders is one thing, but to be right of the Wall Street Journal is quite another.
>     Here are a few excerpts (to get more go, get a copy or go to their webpage at
> "EIGHT WEEKS AGO, President Bush startled environmental and energy interests alike by abandoning a campaign pledge to require power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, one of the culprits in global warming.
> "Environmentalists exploded with a burst of invective; no surprise there. But a substantial segment of the electric-utility industry was almost as disappointed, though much quieter. Sensible, farsighted utility executives look at the world as it is, not as they wish it would be.
> "To them, a few things are clear: 1) Although the science remains incomplete, they must treat global warming as real. 2) Carbon emissions are part of the problem. 3) Electric utilities will be forced to reduce CO2 emissions while producing more electricity.
> "So the goal of smart utilities has been to get something in exchange for accepting CO2 limits. One is a change in perverse rules that discourage utilities from making old plants more efficient, which also reduces pollution. Above all, utilities prize certainty. To get rules that will last a decade, they would trade plenty.
> "...
> The political misstep is now obvious. Mr. Bush got bad headlines and angry foreign reaction for killing the Kyoto treaty on climate change and for breaking a campaign pledge. But his alternative wasn't ready, and he made concessions to coal-burning utilities without asking anything in return.
> The White House was so clumsy that big utilities are managing to look more concerned about the environment than the president.
> "...
> "Even Sen. Robert Byrd, the Democrat from the coal state of West Virginia, is out-greening Mr. Bush. "We have heard talk by the Bush administration," he said last week, "to the effect that the U.S. should promote voluntary initiatives to meet our international treaty commitments. Well, that sounds good, but it will not work." The Clinton crowd tried that, he said, and greenhouse-gas emissions are now 11% above 1990 levels.
> "...
> "While emphasizing the now-obvious need for new power plants, next week an energy task force headed by Vice President Cheney will nod to environmental concerns and promise more thoughts on global warming soon; the administration has learned that much. Mr. Bush will block any CO2 compromise that can be called "mandatory." Yet no scheme will succeed in reducing CO2 emissions unless it is darn close to mandatory.
> "A government-set limit on CO2 emissions is unavoidable, no matter what Mr. Cheney's druthers. The issue is how to structure it without crippling the vital business of generating electricity.
> "The best answer is fostering a market in which those utilities that can most cheaply reduce CO2 emissions -- or somehow offset them -- get credits they can sell to coal-dependent utilities for whom reducing carbon is more costly. That works well only if all power-plant owners are compelled to participate."
>                                                                 Peter
> Messrs. Bush and Cheney would have served the country and the utility industry well by doing more work on how to structure such a system -- and doing less to provoke renewed conflict between the goals of supplying energy and protecting the environment. Most Americans want both.
> _____________________________________________
> Peter Anderson
> 4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
> Madison, WI 53705
> (608) 231-1100/Fax (608) 233-0011
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