On Larry King Live last night, President Bush suggested that he has followed through on campaign promises to deal with greenhouse gases. He cited his administration’s investment in clean coal technologies:
We have done a lot to deal with greenhouse gases by advancing new technologies. You know, I campaigned against Al Gore. I said we’re going to spend money for clean coal technologies, and we’re in the process of doing that.
Bush neglected to mention that in 2000 he campaigned on a pledge to regulate carbon dioxide emissions as central compenent of his energy policy. On Sept. 29, 2000, while campaigning in Saginaw, MI, Bush said: “We will require all power plants to meet clean-air standards in order to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time.”
Shortly after being elected, Bush announced he was backing off his campaign pledge due to pressure from the oil industry. In a March 13, 2001 letter, Bush said: “I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a ‘pollutant’ under the Clean Air Act.” Vice President Cheney said of Bush’s campaign pledge, “It was a mistake because we aren’t in a position today to…cap emissions.”
Last night, Bush brushed off Al Gore’s criticisms of his failure to address global warming, saying, “I guess politics never stops.” He’s right about that.