WASHINGTON - January 24 - In acknowledging global warming for the first time in a State of the Union address, President Bush sent a strong signal that we must take urgent action to curb the emission of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.
Below is a statement from Frances G. Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“The president’s call to cut gasoline consumption and boost alternative fuels is a necessary first step in ending our dangerous oil addiction and stopping global warming pollution.
“But actions speak louder than words. We must make the right choices because wrongheaded approaches would prove counter-productive -- we could end up with somewhat more efficient vehicles running on much dirtier fuels that further accelerate global warming.
“Turning coal into liquid transportation fuel, for instance, would generate nearly twice the amount of global warming pollution than today’s petroleum-based fuels do. Similarly, producing alternative fuels such as ethanol from wood chips that come from endangered forests could inflict widespread ecological damage.
“Ominously, President Bush was silent on America’s need for a mandatory limit on greenhouse gases from all sources of global warming pollution, including power plants and factories, which is precisely what 10 of our biggest corporations called for on Monday as they joined NRDC and other environment groups in forming the U.S. Climate Action Partnership
“Such a cap on carbon dioxide emissions -- and a wholehearted embrace of cleaner, cheaper and renewable sources of energy -- will help end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels while fostering innovation, lowering costs and creating jobs in a cleaner and safer world that we can bequeath to our children.
“A sound energy policy and an effective plan to slow, stop and reverse global warming must go hand-in-hand. Talk is easy. Let’s all roll up our sleeves and get on with the task -- and end our state of denial.”