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Righting Past Climate Change Wrongs

Congress is Taking the Politics out of Science

When the Bush administration edited EPA reports on climate change, they didn’t bargain for a Congressional investigation.

The House Government Oversight and Reform Committee will continue hearings today to examine allegations that Bush administration officials interfered with the work of government climate change scientists.

Since at least 2003, The Bush administration has been editing the reports of government scientists for political purposes to downplay the significance of the global climate change crisis. In January, Bush finally admitted to the climate change problem in his State of the Union address, calling the issue a “serious challenge,” but going no further in addressing his administration’s longstanding backward—not to mention unethical—policies.

Admitting to the problem is only the first step. America needs to reduce emissions from every sector of the economy, not just vehicles. A national plan to do that will unleash American ingenuity and create new industries and jobs while enhancing our national and environmental security.

To jump-start America’s commitment to reducing our impact on climate change, the Center for American Progress has advocated for the United States to adopt a national cap-and-trade program as part of a larger program to reach the long-term goal of preventing the global average temperature from rising more than 3.6°F degrees above pre-industrial levels. The program would include:

  • The immediate creation of a national cap on emissions and a market for trading credits.
  • Economy-wide implementation that protects early adopters, and provides opportunities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and agriculture and forestry industries to participate.
  • Potential for integration into international carbon credit trading markets in the future.

CEOs from some of the largest companies, religious leaders, scientists, the public and members of Bush’s own party are supporting aggressive action on climate change. The new Congress is already taking action to make America a global leader on climate change. It’s time our president does too.

Contact our experts Ana Unruh Cohen, Bracken Hendricks, and Jake Caldwell for additional information and comments:

For TV, Sean Gibbons, Director of Media Strategy
202.682.1611 or sgibbons@americanprogress.org

For radio, Theo LeCompte, Media Strategy Manager
202.741.6268 or tlecompte@americanprogress.org

For print, Trevor Kincaid, Deputy Press Secretary
202.741.6273 or tkincaid@americanprogress.org

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