Bush: Kyoto Would Have 'Wrecked' Economy
By CHRISTIAN WIENBERG
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - President Bush said in a Danish TV interview aired Thursday that adhering to the Kyoto treaty on climate change would have "wrecked" the U.S. economy, and he called U.S. dependence on Gulf oil a "national security problem."
"I couldn't in good faith have signed Kyoto," Bush told the Danish Broadcasting Corp., noting that the treaty did not include other nations - including India and China - that he called "big polluters."
In Bush's view, the Kyoto treaty's mandatory limits also would not ensure that climate risks would be addressed unless countries like China also make emission cuts. He also says more study is needed to determine whether human activity is primarily to blame for rising temperatures.
The interview was recorded Wednesday at the White House. Bush will visit Denmark next week before going to a G-8 summit in Scotland.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair plans to make cutting greenhouse gas emissions a key theme at the G-8 meeting. On Wednesday, Blair told The Associated Press it was not possible to persuade the United States to implement the Kyoto Protocol.
"There is no point in setting a task that is not achievable," Blair said in an exclusive interview with the AP. "Obviously, there is a disagreement over the Kyoto treaty and you are not going to resolve that disagreement."
On Thursday, Blair told an MTV audience there would be no solution for global warming without U.S. involvement. The United States is the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases, which have been blamed for contributing to global warming.
Later in the Danish interview, Bush said the United States was looking for ways to "diversify away from fossil fuels" to reduce its dependence on Middle East oil.
"We're hooked on oil from the Middle East, which is a national security problem and an economic security problem," Bush said.
Bush also defended his decision to go to war in Iraq even though no evidence was found that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as intelligence reports indicated.
"I thought we would find weapons of mass destruction, as did the world," Bush said. "It wasn't just our intelligence, nor was it my administration ... President Clinton felt the same way, based upon what everybody thought was solid intelligence."
Bush also said he understood that U.S. intelligence now may not be as credible to others in the world, saying that's why he's approved reforms of intelligence-gathering.
"I've got to make decisions based upon good information," he said.
Yet he said going to war was the right decision, even if it is hard for him to meet with family members of those who died in battle, as he did this week at Fort Bragg, N.C. "It's hard to know that my decision put these kids in harm's way and they didn't come back to the arms of their loved ones," Bush said.
Bush also said differing reactions to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks could explain why some Europeans so strongly disagree with his policies.
"For some people in Europe, Sept. 11 was just a moment, a sad moment," he said. "For me it changed the way I look at the world, and for many Americans it changed the way we look at the world, because we were attacked,"