By Dan Shapley
In a statement delivered in the Rose Garden this afternoon, President Bush said his administration would act on the Supreme Court's recent directive that the federal government must curtail greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental groups said his proposal falls short of the bar set by the Supreme Court. Bush directed federal agencies to start work on his "20 in 10" plan to cut gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years as a start toward curbing tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases. He said new regulations should be in place by the end of 2008. "Developing these regulations will require coordination across many different areas of expertise. Today, I signed an executive order directing all our agencies represented here today to work together on this proposal. I've also asked them to listen to public input, to carefully consider safety, science, and available technologies, and evaluate the benefits and costs before they put forth the new regulation," Bush said, according to a White House transcript. Environmentalists viewed his plan with skepticism. Whether EPA will lead the fight against global warming or lead us to a hotter planet remains to be seen, Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp said in a statement published on the group's Web site. The litmus test must be real reductions in carbon emissions, and those can only come from real limits. The Supreme Court ruled that the EPA must take action regarding greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, but President Bush''s 20 in 10 program barely addresses this problem," Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder. "The president''s proposal focuses primarily on replacing oil with renewable energy sources such as corn ethanol, and the facts are clear â substituting most formulations of corn ethanol for oil does almost nothing to reduce greenhouse emissions. Additionally, by directing his administration to do nothing but study this issue until the end of 2008, when a new president is coming into office, President Bush passed the buck on global warming at a time when we cannot afford delay, according to a May 15 story in The San Francisco Chronicle.