Bush Rejects Carbon Dioxide Limits

By Cynthia Kirk

This is ______ with the VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT.

Environmental groups have sharply criticized President Bush for failing to include carbon dioxide gases in new pollution controls. Mr. Bush says he will not seek limits on the release of carbon dioxide from factories that produce power. During his presidential campaign last year, Mr. Bush had promised to set limits on carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been linked to the warming of the Earth.

Mr. Bush said carbon dioxide limits would lead to higher energy costs. Instead, he said he would seek legislation to control pollutants in the environment that have been identified by the Clean Air Act. Mr. Bush announced his position last week in a letter to Republican senators. Carbon dioxide gas enters the atmosphere when fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas are burned. Many scientists believe carbon dioxide is causing the Earth to get warmer by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Scientists are concerned that global warming is causing serious climate change.

President Bush now says his campaign position was a mistake. He says carbon dioxide limits would harm coal factories and force greater use of costly natural gas. Coal is used to produce more than half of the nation's electricity. Mr. Bush promised to seek a balanced energy policy that improves the air by reducing nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury. He denied criticism by environmental groups that he acted because of pressure from the energy industry.

Conservatives praised the president's decision. But Democrats and moderate Republican lawmakers criticized Mr. Bush's action. Last week, they presented legislation to limit carbon dioxide and other major air pollutants released by power factories.

Mr. Bush also repeated his opposition to an international agreement called the Kyoto Protocol. The agreement calls for thirty-eight industrial countries to sharply reduce the release of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases. The treaty was signed by the Clinton administration four years ago.

Some European governments criticized Mr. Bush's change in policy as a rejection of international efforts to slow global warming. They note that the United States produces twenty-five percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in the world.

This VOA Special English ENVIRONMENT REPORT was written by Cynthia Kirk. This is ______.

Voice of America Special English