Meet the New Plan, Same As the Old Plan
The story: President Bush’s plan to curb global warming, unveiled yesterday, didn’t contain many surprises. The president rejected mandatory, government-imposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions and instead said he would allocate $4.6 billion for financial incentives and new technology to combat climate change. In other words, the status would remain quo: U.S. industries could continue doing what they’ve done for years. Still, Bush says his plan would reduce emissions from current levels by as much as 75 percent over the next decade — without costing the country billions of dollars and millions of jobs, as he claims adherence to the Kyoto Protocol would have done. The president’s plan also would replace target emissions limits with “emission intensity” targets that fluctuate with economic growth. Global warming aside, Bush promised to take “the most significant step America has ever taken” to cut nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury emissions, the pollutants from power plants that cause smog and acid rain.