Remarks Before the Oregon Representatives Committee on the Environment

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The US signed Kyoto in November 1998, and never unsigned or withdrew from the treaty or a “Kyoto process”, despite common reporting to the contrary on each count.  In fact, the US typically sends the largest delegation of any nation to Kyoto talks. 

Now, the US did declare a stalemate in the talks, in November 2000 in The Hague.  And I will provide to anyone interested my news clippings demonstrating that, until the occupant of the White House changed, the Earth Times, NYT, and even the BBC all fixed blame for talks collapsing – again, during the Florida recount – on Europe.  Only when the recount went the wrong way was blame shifted to the US, and its new President for affirming his predecessor’s position (on 14th March 2001).

Again, despite breathless reporting to the contrary, as a legal and policy matter the U.S. position on Kyoto and that of U.S. political leaders have remained constant.

Kyoto is a global treaty, as claimed, only if words no longer have meaning.  Under the Kyoto Protocol, as agreed, 38 countries (of 191) are covered, or committed to reduce or limit their GHG emissions at some level particular to each by 2012 (e.g., the U.S. would have to reduce emissions 7% from 1990 levels – which were a lot of economic growth ago).