Ten years ago, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 95-0, voted not to sign the Kyoto accord, which penalized developed countries for energy use and have a free ride to developing countries including China and India. The developed countries would pay penalties for excess carbon. The treaty would set no emissions limits on developing countries and would result in great harm to the U.S. economy. President Clinton signed the protocol in 1998, but never submitted the treaty to the Senate, and thus it never became the law of the land.
When Bush refused to sign it and submit it to the Senate, he was branded by the European leaders as the world's top environmental criminal. In regard to developing nations, no one predicted in 1997 that the Chinese emissions would equal the U.S. within a decade. If the Senate had ratified the treaty the U.S. would now be incurring huge economic costs to reduce emissions while China and other rising competitors such as India and Brazil would not.
The Kyoto accords will expire Jan. 1, 2013. If Mrs. Clinton is president she will sign a new accord with penalties for the U.S. President Bush has said that the U.S. will consider a further round of mandatory emissions by insisting that the negotiations include the 15 countries with the highest emissions. We will watch history unfold. Will we be dictated to by the Afro-Asian bloc as to our future?