White House: “The President supports climate change, is leading the way to slow an international agreement, takes advantage of more Americans, and dramatically increased emissions”


Okay, my headline may have selectively edited the White House’s newly released energy/climate legacy talking points. But I didn’t do anything more than the White House itself did in its unintentionally humorous fact sheet that asserts, “President Bush Has Strengthened America’s Energy Security And Taken Constructive Steps To Confront Climate Change.”

I suppose the “fact sheet” is accurate if by “strengthened America’s Energy Security” you mean “done nothing whatsoever while oil imports and energy prices reached record levels” and if by “Constructive” and “Confront” you mean “Destructive” and “Accelerate.” Far more likely is that, as one leading international scientist put it, “Bush will go down in history as possibly a person who has doomed the planet.”

The White House touts the fact that “From 2002 to 2006, United States greenhouse gas emissions increased by only 1.9 percent” even though the Bush Administration has already released the official 2007 data, so we know that GHG emissions have risen 5% during his tenure from 2001 to 2007 (see “Bush policies cause U.S. GHG emissions to soar 1.4% in 2007“). I would also note that if the United States manufactured everything it has purchased from China in our large and growing trade deficit, the annual growth rate of US emissions would be about 50% higher.

The fact sheet does deliver one interesting, if unintentional fact — just spending money on technology won’t reduce emissions. The White House touts:

Since President Bush took office, the Federal Government has invested more than $44 billion for climate-change and energy security programs, including more than $22 billion for technology research, development, and demonstration.

So what exactly is the White House bragging about? They spent all this money, and both our oil and climate problems got steadily worse.

In the chutpah department, while Bush and the conservatives have steadfastly opposed every serious government effort to push clean energy — see Who got us in this energy mess? Start with Ronald Reagan and Why is our energy policy so lame? Ask the three GOP stooges — the White House actually has the audacity to tout the success renewables have had in spite of Bush:

Since 2001, the United States has increased wind energy production by more than 400 percent. Last year, more than 20 percent of new electrical generating capacity added in the United States came from wind — up from just three percent a few years ago. Wind power now supplies one percent of the United States’ electricity.

Between 2000 and 2007, the United States’ solar energy capacity doubled — and last year, the United States’ solar installations grew by more than 32 percent.

Imagine what we could have achieved with a real leader. Imagine what we will….

Bush’s energy and climate legacy is, in fact, that he single-handedly stopped any international action on climate and reneged on his 2000 campaign pledge to regulate CO2 and stopped California from regulating tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions and muzzled climate scientists and forced Congress to drop almost all non-oil-related provisions to cut GHGs from the 2007 energy bill.

If the nation and the world don’t stop catastrophic global warming, Bush will easily be the Worst President in American History, and join the ranks of the Worst Leaders of All Time Awards, alongside such notables as Neville Chamberlain and Nero.

10 Responses to White House: “The President supports climate change, is leading the way to slow an international agreement, takes advantage of more Americans, and dramatically increased emissions”

  1. Jim Bullis says:

    I suggest folks here read the article by Andrew Grove published by McKinsey:

    I commented thereto (they might or might not publish it):

    I had previously assumed that Andy Grove was advocating a solution to global warming. Careful reading of this article shows that he has no such goal in mind. I was particularly misled by a Forbes Mag. article where his plan was featured next to one of Amory Lovins, who strongly relates to the anti global warming objective.

    This plan is consistent with the GM plan to shift the energy source from oil to the electric grid. This all makes sense since there is plenty of cheap coal available to do this, and energy independence and local air quality of places like Los Angeles will be significant benefits. GM and Grove both are careful to avoid mentioning the effect on CO2 levels that would result in their plans.

    As to the details, Grove advocates retrofitting the least efficient vehicles, and he does not mind tricking those who “support–green initiatives” into thinking the retrofitting will relate to “green” objectives.

    The largest fuel source for generating electricity in the USA is coal and the average efficiency for converting heat from coal into electricity is 33%. The Prius engine is 38% efficient in converting heat from gasoline into mechanical energy. A BTU from coal causes 34% more CO2 than a corresponding BTU from gasoline. So a rough estimate would be that Grove’s plan would produce about 50% more CO2 than a plan where Prius technology was adapted.

    Thus it appears that Andy Grove and Bob Lutz of GM are in the same “global warming is a crock” club.

    END COMMENT at McKinsey

    Notwithstanding your advise on the Prius warranty, maybe we should keep this technology in mind for the future. I note that Toyota is not proceeding with its USA plant to build the Prius.

  2. David B. Benson says:

    Joe — Humor?

  3. Right Joe, because spending just $2.75 billion a year over eight years on programs, like hydrogen, that seemed designed to be maximally ineffective while defunding entire promising programs in hydropower, geothermal energy, efficiency and others as Bush has done – all facts you know well – really is proof that “spending money on technology won’t reduce emissions.” You really ended that debate…

  4. Brewster says:

    Jim Bullis:

    Repeated tests have shown that PHEV’s produce less CO2 overall than gasoline cars, even if the power comes from a coal plant. (see )

    And of course, the article also notes that as we convert to greater and greater amounts of renewable electricity, every PHEV ever produced will get cleaner and cleaner…

  5. Jim Bullis says:


    Please note that my reference is the Prius, not the “gasoline” cars in general, that average around 20% efficient rather than 38%.

    But since you bring up calcars where they advocate for plug-in Priuses, I should point out that the Argonne study of the Hymotion, A123 battery conversion actually reduced the efficiency of the Prius engine from 38% to 32%. That should be noted though it is a minor part of the problem.

    The real problem with plug-ins is that the fuel to run these will come from coal, and if the plug-in is a Prius, the conversion will cause a net increase in CO2, probably about 50%.

    Calcars is a leader in the use of the “100 + MPG” slogan. This is easily detected to be gibberish since the number could be “40” or “10,000” just as easily as “100”. Google does even worse since they eliminate the “+” and pretend the electricity falls from the sky, though of course it does after they put a lot of money into solar panels at their offices. That is ok for them, but it should not be taken as applicable for the rest of us.

  6. Bob Wallace says:

    Jim – as we build more and more wind capacity to provide for our daytime/peak needs we create cheaper green nighttime power to charge vehicle batteries. (Remember that at night demand goes down and wind typically blows harder.)

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we didn’t create green electricity faster than we bring electric cars to the streets.

    BTW, ever figure out how much it would cost to buy enough panels to give you “free fuel” for the rest of your life?

    Let’s say you drive the national average of 12,000 miles a year, 33 miles per day. You get a BEV that uses o.3 kWh per mile so you need 10 kWh per day.

    You install them in a 5 solar hour location, so you need 2 kW of panels. At $4 per watt you’re out $8,000 for lifetime fill ups. About $35 dollars a month over 20 years.

    And solar is expensive compared to wind. Best site, best technology wind is about $0.05 per kWh. Let’s say you have to pay high retail or $0.08 per kWh. That’s a whopping eighty cents to power your daily ride. Your latte’ will now be your daily biggie….

  7. jorleh says:

    Looks like Obama must use his eight years only to repair the damages of Bush. What a pity, too late. Nero burned only Rome, this guy whole the world.

  8. Russ says:

    If the nation and the world don’t stop catastrophic global warming, Bush will easily be the Worst President in American History, and join the ranks of the Worst Leaders of All Time Awards, alongside such notables as Neville Chamberlain and Nero.

    It’s unfortunate that a site so devoted to scientific integrity is so blithe about historical ignorance.

    The consensus among historians is that Nero did not burn Rome. Meanwhile, the relief effort he quickly enacted and spearheaded – setting up tent cities on the exercise grounds, having large amounts of food quickly brought in (a prodigy of quick organization) certainly puts America’s post-Katrina effort to shame.

    As for Chamberlain, his position was firmly within the mainstream of both public and educated opinion, while Churchill represented a small, ridiculed minority. So while appeasement in hindsight can be seen to have been the wrong policy, it hardly renders one a horrible leader that one subscribed to it at the time. (And don’t forget, FDR sent Chamberlain a congratulatory telegram following Munich.)

    I always laugh at all the blowhards who smugly imply, “I would’ve been against appeasement if I’d been around back then”, when you know damn well 99% of them would have been against no such thing.

    Sorry to rant about this, but intellectual integrity is intellectual integrity, and someone who knows history but not science, coming to this blog, could be forgiven for wondering if the intellectual sloppiness evident regarding the one doesn’t also infect the other.

    (Written by an afficionado of both science and history.)

  9. David B. Benson says:

    Well, Nero was not a good man, but nobody seriously claims he started the fire in Rome.

    What he did do was refuse to have the fires in the tenaments put out. That way he could rebuild a substantial part of Rome.

    Bush, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have rebuilt much of anything.

  10. Ric Merritt says:

    The POTUS plays guitar left-handed! Who knew? A lot of us always thought there was something sinister going on.