At a Friday news conference Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she would like to have a bill passed by the end of the year that would place mandatory caps on carbon dioxide emissions. “I’d like to see it pass this year. Congress will act upon cap-and-trade legislation in this Congress,” Pelosi said. She also had harsh words yesterday for the voluntary emissions cut plan that President Bush will propose at the G-8 Summit next week.

“Having returned this afternoon from a bipartisan fact-finding mission to Greenland and European capitals that focused on global warming, I have to say I am disappointed by the President’s announcement today.  After years of inaction and denial, on the eve of the G-8 Summit, the President has finally acknowledged the severity of the global warming threat and agreed that we need a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol that he has spent most of his Administration studiously ignoring.” Pelosi said. I don’t think Kyoto was as great of an agreement as some of its supporters claimed it was, there is a gigantic difference between working with the international community to come up with a better agreement,  or doing what this administration did, which was to basically say, “No thanks, none for us,” and walk away.

Pelosi concluding her remarks by saying, “Far from being innovative, the President’s proposal duplicates activities already underway by the United Nations to build on the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  The U.S.-sponsored meetings he proposes are likely to require considerable time and effort without advancing a new international agreement to address global warming.” This proposal by Bush is designed to both run out the clock on his administration, and do as little about the climate change problem as possible.

Carbon trading systems are not perfect. They certainly aren’t the cure all that some 2008 presidential contenders make them out to be, but they are a good place to start. The reality is that this problem will never get solved until we have mandatory emissions caps in place. Politicians can dance around it all they want, but there are no easy, or strictly market based, solutions to this great problem.

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at
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