Greens Bash New White House Climate Plan

Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, called the White House climate plan "grossly insufficient.© Sierra Club

Environmentalists were quick to criticize a new climate action plan announced by the White House last week as being too little too late. In a Rose Garden speech, President Bush called for halting the growth of U.S. emissions tied to global warming by 2025. He added that new technologies are key to curbing the greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming over the long term, and that the nation’s power sector can do its part by slowing emissions" growth faster than his stated 2025 goal.

Carl Pope, executive director the non-profit Sierra Club, one of the nation’s leading environmental groups, said merely halting the growth of emissions is "grossly insufficient." His organization is asking for a proposal with more teeth. "The president is throwing a Hail Mary to polluters in a last-ditch effort to stave off any meaningful action on global warming," Pope said.

Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp shared similar sentiments with reporters: "Waiting until 2025 to stop the growth of greenhouse gas pollution means, for all practical purposes, admitting defeat." He would like to see the president "set a much bolder goal if we are going to succeed."

Greens also were disappointed that the White House proposal doesn’t mirror initiatives coming from individual states. And a handful of bills now working their way through Congress call for much more significant cutbacks on greenhouse gas emissions. Some environmentalists think the Bush administration is trying to muddy the waters on the issue intentionally so that it takes longer for the nation to agree on a unified policy.

"This announcement—coming after nearly seven years devoted to blocking state and federal action on global warming—seems little more than an effort to undercut attempts by Congress and others to advance meaningful solutions to the problem," said Pope.

Sources: Environmental News Service; MSNBC;