McCain 'Ill-Advised' to Start New Global Warming Plan, Says Senator

By Josiah Ryan | July 7, 2008 | 8:33 PM EDT

On the Spot. ( - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), if elected president, would be "ill-advised" to implement a new international agreement on global warming as he suggested in a recent speech, said Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho). Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), while not as dismissive as Craig about McCain's idea, nonetheless said he had a lot of questions about a new climate change plan.

"I probably wouldn't support that kind of agreement," which McCain has hinted at, Craig told Cybercast News Service at the Capitol on Thursday. "I think he would be ill-advised to move in that direction."

"His position on climate change has always worried me," said Craig.

Craig added, however, that he would have to review any such agreement in detail before making a final decision. "It depends upon the agreement," he said. "Let's don't get ourselves caught and say generically 'a global warming initiative.'"

In a speech Monday at the Vestas Training Facility in Portland, Ore., McCain strongly hinted at a new international global warming deal. After referencing the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, McCain said: "As president, I will have to deal with the same set of facts. I will not shrink from the mantle of leadership that the United States bears. I will not permit eight long years to pass without serious action on serious challenges. I will not accept the same dead end of failed diplomacy that claimed Kyoto. ..

"Shared dangers mean shared duties, and global problems require global cooperation. ... We will continue in good faith to negotiate with China and other nations to enact the standards and controls that are in the interest of every nation. ...

"If the efforts to negotiate an international solution that includes China and India do not succeed, we still have an obligation to act. In my approach to global climate-control efforts, we will apply the principle of equal treatment. ...

"Like other environmental challenges - only more so - global warming presents a test of foresight, of political courage, and of the unselfish concern that one generation owes to the next. We need to think straight about the dangers ahead, and to meet the problem with all the resources of human ingenuity at our disposal. ..."

Concerning McCain's speech and suggestion of a new policy on global warming, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Fla.) said he would have to see the agreement before he could support it.

"I have got to see it," he told Cybercast News Service . "Any agreement that we agree to or don't agree to depends upon the structure of the agreement, who is included, and who is not."

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions to stop global warming. The international agreement was negotiated in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and signed by President Clinton on Nov. 12, 2008.

However, Clinton never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification. President Bush withdrew the United States from the Kyoto process several months after taking office in 2001. As of April 2008 the treaty had been signed and ratified by 178 other countries.

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