Clinton announces funding to address global warming

February 7, 2000

By Michael Johnsen

The White House announced a $2.4 billion proposal on February 3rd to deal with global climate change. This amount represents a 42 percent increase over last year's funding levels. President Clinton's plan calls for a $200 million investment to the development of clean & renewable energy technologies by creating competitive markets and encouraging the export of these technologies to other countries.

In his 8th and last State of the Union address, Clinton called global warming the most important environmental challenge of the 21st century.

The administration says its plan would help reduce fossil fuel use and so-called "greenhouse gases" such as methane and CO2 in the developing world, while creating $5 billion in new export revenues for U.S. companies and as many as 100,000 new jobs by 2005.

Clinton also wants to offer $4 billion in tax incentives over five years to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Consumers would get tax credits for purchasing energy-efficient homes, equipment, and cars.

The third layer of the administration's global climate change budget is $976 million in tax incentives over five years to accelerate the development of bio-based technologies. The tax breaks for those technologies, which convert crops and trees into fuels and other products, are slated to grow to $2.1 billion over 10 years.

While burning agricultural wastes and trees produces CO2, the growing of these plants removes CO2- essentially equalling out the CO2 balance in the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels, (which are really plants and animals from millions of years ago (when the planet was warmer) releases stored CO2 increasing the amount of the greenhouse gas in today's atmosphere.