Jeff Bingaman, fresh from Montreal, talks about U.S. greenhouse gas policies:
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., thinks now is the time for the United States to act on climate change.
But Bingaman, who has emerged as a congressional leader on the issue, acknowledges he has his work cut out for him in persuading the Bush administration.
That was the reality Bingaman faced last week as he stepped to the lectern as the keynote speaker at an international gathering of legislators in Montreal.
Individual state and local governments, along with many in U.S. industry, are pushing for U.S. leadership in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, Bingaman told the audience, according to a text of his talk. But the Bush administration does not agree.
The Bush administration opposes participation in the international community’s mandatory emissions caps, saying it would harm the U.S. economy while exempting developing nations like China and India.
“The truth is,” Bingaman told the gathering, “there is a diverging view within the United States that I do not believe is accurately represented by the president and the current administration.”