Thursday, July 2, 2009

Obama against penalties on those not accepting pollution limits

Washington (AFP)

US President Barack Obama on Sunday expressed his opposition to a provision in the clean energy bill that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution, The New York Times reported late Sunday.
The newspaper said Obama had told a small group of reporters at the White House that at a time when the global economy is still deep in recession, he thought "we have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals out there."
"I think there may be other ways of doing it than with a tariff approach," the president was quoted by the paper as saying.
On Friday. the US House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation to limit pollution blamed for global warming, handing Obama a hard-fought major victory.
By a 219-212 margin, lawmakers voted for the first time in US history to limit heat-trapping carbon emissions and shift the US economy to cleaner energy in a move backers said will create jobs and restore Washington's shaky leadership on climate change ahead of global talks set for December.
The Senate is still to vote on the measure.
Obama, hoping to build momentum in the Senate after the narrow victory in the House, delayed the start of a Sunday golf game to speak to a small group of reporters in the Oval Office, The Times said.
He acknowledged that the initial targets for reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases set by the House bill were quite modest and would probably not satisfy the governments of other countries or many environmental groups, the report said.
But he said he hoped to build on those early targets in fashioning a more robust program in the future as part of his administration's efforts to move the nation from an economy based on fossil fuels toward one built on renewable energy sources

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