Bush Climate Change Plan An “Empty Gesture”

Earthjustice president says country needs a clean energy agenda


Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice, (510) 550-6779


President Bush’s global-warming proposal is “an empty, face-saving gesture” that he was pressured into because of court mandates and humiliation at home and abroad, said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen.

“Bush said he hopes to avoid a regulatory nightmare with his proposal. But the nightmare is of his own making. His administration has thwarted efforts to fight global warming at every turn. And now, too late, he’s waking up to the consequences,” said Van Noppen, whose organization is the leading public interest environmental law firm. “World leaders — and even America’s governors — have abandoned Bush and are striking out on their own to create global warming solutions.”

Van Noppen took aim at how Bush discounted the importance of regulatory law in fighting climate change.

“It is astonishing that this president thinks the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act shouldn’t be used to fight global warming. These strong, enforceable laws have an impressive history of cleaning our air and protecting wildlife. But considering this administration’s difficulty following the rule of law, it’s not surprising that Bush would take aim at them.”

“This plan fails to outline a clean energy agenda, and would have us believe that we can best fight global warming by staying addicted to coal and oil. In short, it’s a continuation of policies that have created global warming. We need mandatory limits on our capacity to pollute, just as we need incentives to develop clean, non-polluting energy sources. Bush’s voluntary approach is precisely why the world is so threatened with global warming today — it doesn’t work.”

“We look forward to a new administration that respects and uses the law to protect the environment, and invests in a sustainable, clean energy future,” Van Noppen said.  

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.