Bush Calls Inaction The ‘Right Way’ To Deal With Global Warming

Bush speaks on the economyIn an address calling on Congress to make all his tax cuts permanent, President Bush discussed the upcoming Senate debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S. 3036), claiming it would “impose roughly $6 trillion of new costs on the American economy.” He continued:

There’s a much better way to address the environment than imposing these costs on the job creators, which will ultimately have to be borne by American consumers. And I urge the Congress to be very careful about running up enormous costs for future generations of Americans. We’ll work with the Congress, but the idea of a huge spending bill fueled by taxes — increases — isn’t the right way to proceed.

An accompanying White House statement indicates that Bush would veto the bill.

Bush’s argument that mandatory emissions reductions like those called for by Lieberman-Warner represent “enormous costs” on “job creators,” “American consumers,” “future generations of Americans” and the “American economy” is classic Bush doublespeak. When he unveiled his plan to allow global warming pollution to increase for the next 17 years and give polluters new tax cuts, he called it “an ambitious new track for greenhouse gas reductions.” The White House now describes this approach as the “right way.”

In truth:

The Bush Approach To Global Warming Is Catastrophic. The emissions path called for in Bush’s climate plan would lead to well over twice as much global warming over the next few decades as we have already experienced. Sea level rise would eliminate 30 percent of coastal wetlands and displace millions of people. There would be significant species loss around the globe, including practically all of the world’s coral reefs. Wildfires, drought, floods, and heat waves would destabilize the global economy. [IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007]

The Bush Approach To Global Warming Aids Polluters, Hurts American Jobs. The White House calls for federal subsidies for the coal and nuclear industry without any mandatory reductions on carbon emissions. In addition, the White House attacks Lieberman-Warner for making Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements on new technology investments. [White House Statement of Administration Policy, 6/2/08]

The Bush Approach To Global Warming Will Bring Enormous Costs For Future Generations Of Americans. A Natural Resources Defense Council report finds that under a global warming path consistent with the Bush approach, “Four global warming impacts alone — hurricane damage, real estate losses, energy costs, and water costs — will come with a price tag of 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, or almost $1.9 trillion annually (in today’s dollars) by 2100.” By 2025 — when the Bush plan would begin to possibly reduce emissions — the costs would already be $271 billion a year. [NRDC, 5/08]

Under the Bush approach to the Iraq war and the U.S. economy, hundreds of billions dollars have been lost irrevocably, corporate polluters have enjoyed record profits, and energy and food costs have risen without any benefit to consumers. Under the Bush approach to global warming, trillions of dollars will be lost irrevocably to damage from climate change, money that could instead be spent building the post-carbon economy.

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