As we all know the United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol and is very unlikely to ever do so. However, several states in the Union are
doing their part to reduce Carbon emissions. Eight Northeast states have joined in a consortium to reduce emissions and are even discussing the
ability to trade emissions credits with European nations.
The American by-play is taking place at the annual U.N. conference on climate change, where delegates from scores of nations are filling in
last-minute details on the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 pact that takes effect Feb. 16 requiring 30 industrial nations to reduce, by 2012, emissions of
"greenhouse gases" that scientists blame for global warming.
The biggest pollutant is carbon dioxide, byproduct of fossil fuel burning by automobile engines, power plants and other industrial operations.
The United States is not among the 30. The Bush administration has rejected Kyoto, protesting that it would damage the U.S. economy and that it should
also cover poorer nations, such as China and India.
But in the pyramid of powers called the U.S. federation, there were other ideas.
"The United States is 'states' with an 's,'" said Fred Butler, a New Jersey public utilities commissioner here for the U.N. conference. The 50 states
are 50 "laboratories of ideas," he said.
More than two dozen U.S. states have taken action individually to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, by ordering cuts in power-plant emissions, for
example, and limiting state government purchases of fuel-inefficient sport utility vehicles.
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Over half of the states in the US have done something to curb emissions and several other states are making plans to do so. The fact that the US
government hasn't ratified Kyoto will overshadow the actions of the states but they're making an attempt to right the ship so-to-speak, in the eyes of
My personal opinion is that none of it really matters any way because the measures both the Kyoto Protocol and what these states are doing will have a
very nominal effect on anything
remotely linked to global warming.