Whitman and Powell Accept Global Warming Theory

By Lucier, James P.; Rodriguez, Paul M. | Insight on the News, April 2, 2001 | Go to article overview

Whitman and Powell Accept Global Warming Theory


Lucier, James P., Rodriguez, Paul M., Insight on the News


Worried Bush-watchers are getting nervous about the struggle going on in the administration over the president's ultimate stand on the proposed international convention on global warming -- particularly after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman went to an international meeting of environment ministers of the Group of Eight in Italy on March 1 and told them: "There's no question but that global warming is a real phenomenon that is occurring."

But many distinguished scientists have called into question the reliability and feasibility of the "science" used as the foundation of the so-called global-warming treaty, which is the Kyoto Protocol [an addition] to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Nevertheless, a few days later Secretary of State Colin Powell, at his first appearance on Capitol Hill since his confirmation hearings, shocked Republican loyalists -- and pleased his interlocutor, Democratic Del. Eni Faleomavaega (who represents American Samoa, a territory not known for air pollution but plenty warm already) -- by chiming in on the global-warming-is-a-threat theme. "We certainly agree that global warming is a problem," said Powell to the members of the House International Relations Committee. "As to the extent of the problem, the nature of the problem and the steps to be taken toward solving that problem -- whether it is emissions control or how best to use the natural [heat] sinks that exist -- we need some time to formulate a position between the State Department, the Treasury Department, EPA and the new leaders who have come into the administration."

The Treasury Department's position on global warming is uncertain. However, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, former chief executive officer of the aluminum giant, Alcoa, has raised eyebrows by refusing to divest himself of $100 million in Alcoa stock (see, "The $100 Million Misunderstanding," p. …

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