Reid says Bush must face Democrats |

Reid says Bush must face Democrats

Susan Wood

The honeymoon appears to be over between the Bush administration and Democrats in Congress, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday.

First, Democratic lawmakers were unhappy that President George W. Bush has signaled he would sign a repeal of new workplace rules aimed at curbing repetitive motion injuries, which Congress approved last week.

Then, Democrats – Reid included – expressed dismay in the size of Bush’s $1.6 trillion tax-cut plan, which they claim helps the rich and hinders the pay-down of the national debt.

Now, it’s the environment.

Reid, a ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, objects to the president’s about-face on his campaign pledge to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

“I am disappointed that the Administration has chosen not to honor this commitment to the American people,” Reid stated. “Maybe we’ll need to learn to read the President’s lips more carefully.”

Bush announced Tuesday he would back off from regulating power plants to control the “greenhouse gas” conservationists see as the key to reducing global warming, The Associated Press reported.

The president used skyrocketing energy costs, particularly in the West, as the reason behind the reversal.

“This decision is nearsighted energy and environmental policy, plain and simple,” Reid countered.

The move comes on the heels of an international climatology report released last month predicting Alpine skiing retreats may be lost to future generations from the effects of global warming on the climate.

“Most of the earth’s people will be on the losing side,” said Harvard University environmental scientist James McCarthy, who co-chaired the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the report’s author.

Scientists who met separately that week at a conference in San Francisco used the melting of equatorial glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and others in the Andes Mountains in Peru as powerful indicators of global warming, AP reported.

The report also said that during the 21st century the world’s inhabitants should brace for more severe storms, more diseases and an enormous loss of life caused by climate changes.

The Environmental Protection Agency has requested public comment on a petition filed in October 1999 by the International Center for Technology Assessment and 18 other organizations demanding the agency regulate automobile emissions of four greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.

The public can submit comments on the matter by going online at by May 23, 2001.

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