(CNSNews.com) - In the wake of warnings from environmental analysts, there is further evidence that President Bush may not be as opposed to the Kyoto global warming treaty as previously believed.
The objective of the Kyoto Protocol is to commit the estimated 180 industrialized nations, including the United States, to "specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six greenhouse gasses," according to a March 6, 2000 Congressional Research Report.
Carbon dioxide, emitted when coal, oil, and natural gas combust, is one of those identified greenhouse gasses. But it is also the substance released into the air by humans when they breathe, so it is still not classified as a pollutant by U.S. environmental regulating agencies.
Unbeknownst to many who supported Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign season was his support of regulations to limit the amount of carbon dioxide produced by utility companies.
The problem with Bush's view, according to Myron Ebell, Competitive Enterprise Institute's director of global warming and international environmental policy, is that it first requires the classification of carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Once that action has been taken, he continued, logic would dictate that all gas emissions levels be regulated, including eventually those from cars and trucks.
Ebell's concern is not new. Earlier, he pointed to former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman's appointment as head of the Environmental Protection Agency as one cause for alarm, given her previous actions on carbon dioxide regulation.
While governor, Whitman oversaw the implementation of a 1999 measure that called for companies to participate in a voluntary reduction program aimed at cutting the amount of carbon dioxide gasses released into the air.
Recently, Whitman also announced at least three times during separate press interviews her intent to combat global warming, calling it "one of the greatest environmental challenges we face, if not the greatest," according to one March 3 report from Trieste, Italy.
"We are supportive of the goal of Kyoto, nothing has changed," Whitman said. "What we are reviewing is the implementation strategy" for the promised emissions reductions former President Clinton signed and approved in 1998.
Clinton pledged the U.S. would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by seven percent below 1990 levels and would do so between the years 2008 and 2012. However, the Senate never ratified the agreement and Bush could choose to reverse Clinton's decision and exclude the U.S. from the Kyoto treaty.
Whether Bush will do that, however, is an item of debate for analysts like Ebell, who fear that the president will be influenced by Whitman's statements on global warming.
"Bush ran as opposed to [the Kyoto Protocol]," he said. "But now we're getting mixed signals, and it isn't clear."
Global warming is one of the most hotly debated environmental issues of our time; just days ago a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, recognized for his research on climate change, tried to debunk the global warming argument during a news conference in Washington, D.C.
"The whole notion of a scientific consensus has been contrived to disguise the genuine disagreement among scientists on a number of different issues," said Richard S. Lindzen. "Major media outlets announced, incorrectly, as early as 1998 that the issue of global warming was scientifically settled.
"To think that hundreds of scientists could be in full agreement ... is ridiculous," he continued.
Lindzen said the scientific work of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- a common reference source for those who cite statistics indicating the existence of global warming -- was "clearly more a matter of politics than science" and, according to Lindzen, a compilation of manipulated and misrepresented findings.