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Bush's changing stand on carbon dioxide

Published Sep. 9, 2005

Here's a chronological look at how George W. Bush first proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, then changed his mind.

MARCH 23, 1999: Fred Krupp, head of the environmental group Environmental Defense, briefs Texas Gov. George W. Bush on global warming.

MAY 13, 1999: Bush says at an Austin news conference: "I believe there is global warming."

JUNE-JULY 2000: Krupp talks to Bush environmental advisers and proposes a plan to regulate power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, as well as other pollutants.

SEPT. 29, 2000: Bush unveils "comprehensive national energy policy" plan in a Saginaw, Mich., speech: "We will require all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, mercury and carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time."

FEB. 26, 2001: Hearing talk that Bush would unveil a policy limiting CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions in address the next day to joint session of Congress, energy and mining industries step up a lobbying, e-mail, phone call campaign to the White House to knock it out of the speech. On CNN, EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman defends an anti-CO2 plan as necessary to combat global warming.

FEB. 27, 2001: Bush does not mention an anti-CO2 plan in his speech to Congress.

FEB. 28, 2001: Bush's budget blueprint issued. Whitman calls reporters, saying: "The key here, the challenge, is to engage in a four-pollutant strategy that puts goals, some caps, on emissions of carbon dioxide."

MARCH 3-4, 2001: Whitman at environmental ministers' conference in Trieste, Italy, describes a possible plan to restrict pollutants, including CO2. Aides say she cleared her plans to discuss the topic with White House officials before she left.

MARCH 6, 2001: Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Larry Craig of Idaho send Bush a letter deploring the anti-CO2 plan.

MARCH 7, 2001: A White House official tells Whitman the policy is being reconsidered. Daily White House meetings are held on the issue.

MARCH 13, 2001: Bush decides against the anti-CO2 four-pollutant policy. He tells Whitman in a 30-minute one-on-one meeting and sends letter to Hagel informing him. Vice President Dick Cheney tells Republican senators of the decision.

_ Knight Ridder Newspapers