[JURIST] President Bush urged Congress on Tuesday to adopt his proposed targets for alternative fuel use [White House energy policy materials] as a way of combating greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST news archive; EPA backgrounder] a day after the US Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA [opinion text; JURIST report] that the Clean Air Act [text; EPA materials] gives the Environmental Protection Agency [official website] authority to regulate automobile emissions. Speaking at a Rose Garden press conference, Bush said [official transcript]:
First of all, the decision of the Supreme Court we take very seriously. It's the new law of the land. And secondly, we're taking some time to fully understand the details of the decision. ... My attitude is, is that we have laid out a plan that will affect greenhouse gases that come from automobiles by having a mandatory fuel standard that insists upon using 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017, which will reduce our gasoline usage by 20 percent and halt the growth in greenhouse gases that emanate from automobiles. In other words, there is a remedy available for Congress. And I strongly hope that they pass this remedy quickly.Bush, who opposes mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions, also reiterated his belief that rapidly developing countries such as China and India must do more to control pollution. Scientific research suggests that man-made greenhouse gases contribute to global warming [EPA backgrounder]. Reuters has more.
Efforts to establish national emissions limits have gained traction in Congress [NYT report] since the Democrats became the majority party. Last month, former CIA director John Deutch recommended in a report to international civic leaders [JURIST report] that the United States enact an EU-style cap-and-trade program among other measures to control greenhouse gas emissions. In January, a coalition of US businesses and environmental groups called for federal legislation to limit emissions [JURIST report]. Overseas, the British government last month introduced a draft environmental bill [JURIST report] that could control greenhouse gas emissions through 2050.
This report was prepared in partnership with the Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law.