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Mc Cain Global Warming*

McCain, Lieberman call for action on global warming

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press

[Political Homesteading. Like his campaign finance reform, this is also a 2 on a scale of 0 to 10.--RSB]

WASHINGTON (August 3, 7:50 p.m. CDT) - Republican Sen. John McCain teamed with Democrat Joseph Lieberman on Friday to criticize President Bush's approach to dealing with global warming and called for mandatory limits on greenhouse gases.

The two senators said regulations for carbon dioxide and other emissions that are believed to be changing Earth's climate are needed because voluntary measures - favored by Bush - will not work.

In the clearest signal yet that the Senate is determined to pursue a separate climate agenda from the White House, the two senators will introduce legislation imposing a nationwide "cap and trade" system on greenhouse emissions.

Otherwise, they argued, American businesses will suffer as the rest of the industrial countries begin trading emission credits under the Kyoto climate agreement recently rejected by the Bush administration.

"The current situation demands leadership from the United States," McCain said. He said purely voluntary approaches "will not be enough to meet the goal of preventing dangerous effects on the climate system."

In an interview, Lieberman acknowledged that the proposal will likely unleash "a big fight" in the Congress but said he and McCain are "committed to this" and plan to press it aggressively.

The White House did not immediately comment on the McCain-Lieberman alliance.

In abandoning the Kyoto climate treaty earlier this year, Bush expressed his opposition to mandatory restrictions or regulation of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, saying such controls would be too costly and harm the economy.

While the administration has provided no specific program to deal with climate change, Bush has said his approach would rely on voluntary actions by industry and development of new technologies to capture carbon releases and reduce energy use.

Lieberman responded, "Voluntary programs, unfortunately, do not work."

The two senators warned that U.S. businesses stand a chance of being left out of an international trading program of greenhouse gases under the Kyoto protocol unless a domestic trading scheme is put in place.

While details are still being worked out, the legislation would establish a cap on the amount of greenhouse gases that could be emitted nationwide. Caps also would be imposed for specific economic sectors such as power plants and transportation.

Companies that exceed the limits could purchase credits from other entities whose emissions are lower.

The Lieberman-McCain announcement was among several actions taken recently that demonstrate the Democratic-controlled Senate is intent on pressing its own climate agenda.

On Thursday, legislation advanced that would pump nearly $5 billion into research technologies to combat global warming. It was cleared by the Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Lieberman.

A day earlier, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a resolution urging Bush to reconsider his rejection of the Kyoto treaty.

At the same time, Sen. Jim Jeffords, the independent from Vermont whose defection from the Republican Party put Democrats in control of the Senate, said he was intent on getting a bill passed to regulate carbon dioxide along with three other pollutants.

(Original Len: 4054 Condensed Len: 4371)

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