February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 7, NUMBER 5, MAY 1994
NEWS... U.S. ACTION PLAN
on the Climate Change Action Plan for reducing U.S. greenhouse
gas emissions, announced last October by the Clinton
Administration, was the topic of a meeting organized April 21 by
the White House. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 382, May 4; Chem.
Eng. News, pp. 28-29, May 9; Global Environ. Change Rep.,
p. 4, May 13.)
The day before the conference, the U.S. Department of Energy
reached an agreement with five large electric utility industry
associations on details of the Climate Challenge Program, a major
component of the action plan. Under the voluntary program,
individual utilities may choose from a wide range of options that
would contribute to reducing greenhouse emissions. (See Environ.
Rptr. Curr. Devel., pp. 2226-2227, Apr. 29; Global
Environ. Change Rep., pp. 6-7, May 13.) These options include
reducing their own emissions in a specified manner, or
contributing to programs on energy efficiency, renewable energy
sources or forest carbon management.
Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary told conference participants
that so far, utilities representing 80 percent of the generating
capacity of the U.S. have expressed specific interest in
cooperating under the action plan. A document summarizing
progress on all components of the action plan is now available
from the Department of Energy.
Outside the meeting, demonstrators from Greenpeace voiced
their disillusionment with the action plan. A report released by
the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental
groups concludes that the U.S. will not meet its emission goal
without additional measures; a companion report suggests ways to
meet the goal. (See Science News, p. 278, Apr. 30; Chem.
Eng. News, pp. 28-29, May 9.) However, in a Senate committee
hearing on the action plan held May 10, Secretary O'Leary
defended the plan, saying it is too early to predict its outcome
and warning that any severe cuts by Congress in the
Administration's proposed budget would put the program at risk.
(See Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 424, May 18.)
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