Vice-Pres. Cheney says more study needed on global warming questions

US Vice-Pres. Dick Cheney Wednesday defended the Bush administration against critics who say it is not doing enough to control greenhouse gases believed to contribute to global warming. He noted the issue is under active consideration at the cabinet level and the administration wants Congress to boost research.

Jun 13th, 2001


By the OGJ Online Staff

WASHINGTON, DC, June 13 -- US Vice-Pres. Dick Cheney Wednesday defended the Bush administration against critics who say it is not doing enough to control greenhouse gases believed to contribute to global warming.

Speaking to the Energy Efficiency Forum, Cheney said President George W. Bush decided that the Kyoto global warming treaty was "flawed" and would have had a "devastating impact" on the US economy because most of the emission control burden would fall on the US. He indicated that the international protocol effectively would exempt India and China from making hard choices.

Cheney said the White House agrees with a recent National Academy of Sciences report that found global warming exists but the science is still not complete on the role that humans play in exacerbating the problem (OGJ Online, June 7, 2001).

"Some of it is man-made," Cheney acknowledged, "And we are trying to understand better to what extent." He noted that several cabinet-level meetings have occurred and there is a request pending before Congress to boost research.

At the same time, he said the administration "is not prepared to ban fossil fuels." However, policymakers want to diversify the US fuel mix, including expanding nuclear power and renewable energy when it is economically feasible.

The White House's energy strategy is not without controversy. European supporters of the Kyoto climate treaty say the US should offer mandatory emission controls or other more concrete proposals to reduce greenhouse gases.

It is unclear what further actions the administration will consider. White House sources have indicated that a cap and trade emissions program is under discussion, but for now the administration appears to want to emphasize expanding research budgets instead of offering regulation.

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