The complete text of Biden's press release from March 2001...how quickly some politicians forget their promises. Ready for a rerun?
WASHINGTON -- March 30, 2001In a letter to President Bush expressing "deep concern" about the Administration's decision to reject the Kyoto Protocol combating global warming, U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) strongly criticized the Administration for retreating from the nation's commitment to international environmental negotiations.
Senator Biden Calls on Bush to Reconsider His Stance on Global Warming
The Kyoto Protocol, an accord reached in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 would commit signatory countries to reductions in emissions of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide.
"By declaring he has 'no interest' in the Kyoto treaty, the President has walked away from yet another important environmental commitment," said Senator Biden. "I can't say I'm surprised, but I am disappointed. Many of our allies are upset, and with good reason. The President's decision to turn his back on this treaty is a huge setback for the environment and could delay action on global warming for years."Many scientists have concluded that greenhouse gases are raising global temperatures, a trend that, if unchecked, could cause ecological disruptions worldwide, resulting in regional climate changes that could threaten human health, crop yields and water supplies.
"It's a false choice to say we need to favor the economy over the environment," said Biden. "Especially given the progress we've made in developing the technological knowhow to profit from a shift to cleaner energy production. The previous Administration was successful in working with business and environmental groups toward an agreement that protects both American interests and the world environment. The Bush Administration would have been wise to build upon this success."
Biden also noted that, contrary to White House assertions, the Senate has never voted "95-0 against ratification." The Kyoto Protocol was signed by the Clinton Administration, but was never submitted to the Senate.
Biden has been a leading Senate advocate for the need to address the problem of global warming. He coauthored legislation to reward U.S. companies that voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also co-wrote the Biden-Lugar Debt for Nature legislation providing millions of dollars to save rainforests worldwide.
"The United States has an inescapable responsibility to lead on global environmental challenges. It's wrong to simply walk away from this international agreement," Biden concluded.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a board of 2,000 leading scientists, projects average temperatures may increase anywhere from 3 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. By comparison, the earth's temperature rose about 9 degrees since the last ice age.