- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The White House said yesterday that President Bush has ruled out Kyoto-style caps on carbon emissions as the solution to global warming, rejecting the proposal favored by Democrats and most European leaders.

Spokesman Tony Snow said Mr. Bush will lay out his new climate-change policy in his State of the Union address next week, but sources familiar with the drafting of the speech said the president will argue that global warming can be better addressed through technology and greater use of renewable energy sources than through caps imposed on businesses and industries.

Analysts and observers have speculated for months that Mr. Bush is due for a change in his global-warming policy, not least because some of his top advisers, including Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., support such a move.

Reports from London this week said British officials were predicting Mr. Bush would adopt mandatory carbon caps, the type of solution called for in the Kyoto Protocol negotiated by President Clinton but rejected by Mr. Bush.

Yesterday, though, Mr. Snow shot those reports down. “That’s not something we’re talking about,” he said.

Michael McKenna, a Republican strategist and lobbyist on energy issues, said Mr. Bush will continue and expand his policy of pushing technology and renewable energy fuels, such as ethanol.

“What he’s doing is simply amping up what he has said all along — that the answer to this thing is technology, technology that gets developed as quickly as possible and shared as quickly as possible,” Mr. McKenna said.

After years of calling for more science on the issue, Mr. Bush announced last year that he has concluded humans are a component of global warming. But he also has concluded that mandatory Kyoto-style caps — which set a limit for carbon emissions, which are cited by many scientists as the cause of global warming — wouldn’t work and would harm the U.S economy.

Mr. Bush also argues that the Kyoto Protocol fails because it doesn’t include developing nations such as China and India. That was also one of the primary reasons the treaty was rebuffed 95-0 by the Senate in July 1997 in a sense of the Senate resolution and was never submitted for ratification.

Mr. Bush has pushed for international cooperation to encourage transfer of clean technology to those nations as an alternative to mandatory caps.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said that his party will work with Mr. Bush on the issue, but that the president has been in “a state of denial with respect to global warming.”

For months, there has been a debate inside the administration about which path Mr. Bush should follow, but Mr. McKenna said the speech will end that — and signal a victory for those who oppose Kyoto-style caps.

“It is going to be an implicit rebuke to folks … who are pressing for mandates. It’s really going to be sort of a relatively clear restatement of ‘Here’s how I think we should go about this,’ ” Mr. McKenna said.

Mr. Snow said that Mr. Bush has committed $29 billion to climate science and clean-energy technology, and that although funding for climate research at NASA is falling, the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is increasing.

“We’re not only putting more money into it, but we’re also trying to figure out ways to use technology so that you can handle the complex business of trying to measure and characterize changes in global temperature to try to figure out what the precise causes are,” he said.

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