Unlikely coalition pushing Bush for federal cap on carbon emissions

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In Washington there have been almost daily hearings on the consequences of and responses to human-induced climate warming, including an extraordinary Senate meeting where dozens of lawmakers themselves testified on the subject.

Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman, an Arizona Republican and a Connecticut independent, have introduced legislation that would require caps on carbon emissions. Lieberman predicted that a U.S. measure requiring cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would be law by late 2008 or early 2009.

They were among other legislators, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, who addressed a World Bank-sponsored global forum on climate change last week.

The forum’s final statement, non-binding but ringing, stated: “Climate change is a global issue and there is an obligation on us all to take action, in line with our capabilities and historic responsibilities.” That is in line with an extraordinary call by an unexpected coalition of corporate leaders and environmental groups known as the U.S. Climate Action Partnership for federal legislation to cap carbon.

The Bush administration has thus far rejected mandatory caps on emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to a documented rise in world temperatures – which in turn are linked to more severe storms, worse droughts, rising seas and other ills.

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