A pair of news stories recently has ignited the rumour mill
that the Bush administration is contemplating asking
Congress to produce a climate change bill before
the end of the year.
Both the Associated Press and The Washington Times
reported that the White House was preparing to unveil a set
of principals for what they want climate change legislation
to look like.
Last week, James Connaughton - chairman of the White House
Council on Environmental Quality - and domestic policy adviser
Keith Hennessey came to Capitol Hill to brief some House GOP
members on the issue. "The meeting was set up to float
a few trial balloons and it did not go well, with some participants
viewing it as 'political appeasement' on global warming"
- a GOP operative, who was briefed on the meeting, told the
In June, the Senate is expected to debate a bill sponsored
by Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Warner that would cap greenhouse
gas emissions and set specific targets for reductions of emissions.
The House is also expected to take up similar legislative
sometime this year.
The Bush administration has been hesitant to push for specific
climate change legislation in the past - often arguing that
countries like India and China must address the issue at the
same time in order for the White House to support any major
White House Spokeswoman, Dana Perino pushed back against
the recent reports during her daily press briefing. "We
haven't come forward yet and said definitively where we are
- and that's because we're having a very robust discussion"
- she said.
However, Perino did acknowledge that there is currently a
"regulatory train wreck" and that "the regulatory
path that we are on right now is not sustainable" - which
could present an opening for legislation.