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Published: Thursday 25 July, 2013

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WASHINGTON AP Voluntary pollutionreduction programs touted by the Bush administration as part of the solution to global warming have limited potential to reduce greenhouse gases, according to an internal government watchdog.

The Environmental Protection Agencys Inspector Generals Office said industrys unwillingness to participate and unreliable data that casts doubt on claimed reductions are hindering efforts to control some of the most potent greenhouse gases from aluminum smelters, landfills, coal mines and large farms.

At best, the 11 different programs, all but one of which were launched during the Clinton Administration, would achieve a 19% reduction in methane, sulfur hexaflouride and other noncarbon dioxide greenhouse projected to come from those industries in 2010, the EPA IGs office said in a report Thursday.

The report does not cover efforts to address the most plentiful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide or the biggest sources of it, transportation and electric power plants.

If EPA wishes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond this point, it needs to consider additional policy options, the report said. Persuading companies to spend money on optional activities presents a significant challenge to using voluntary programs as the current solution to reducing greenhouse gases.

The Bush administration has been relying largely on the voluntary programs to reduce carbon intensity the ratio of greenhouse gas emissions to economic output by 18% by 2012. That goal would slow the growth of greenhouse gases, but not actually reduce them.

The White House has rejected using existing law to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles and smokestacks despite a Supreme Court decision last year saying it could do so.

Bush and other world leaders at last months G8 summit in Toyako, Japan, made a commitment to a voluntary 50% reduc michael kors hamilton quilted tion in greenhouse gases worldwide by 2050 but o michael kors hamilton quilted ffered no specifics on how to do it.

The White House said Thursday that the nation is well on track to meet, if not exceed the 18% reduction in carbon intensity. It said mandatory measures such michael kors hamilton quilted as higher fuel economy requirements for new cars, SUVs and light trucks will help.

Paul Bunning, who heads EPAs voluntary programs for reducing global warming gases other than carbon dioxide, said a 19% reduction is a testament to the programs success.

It is important to recognize that the design of these partnership programs is largely focusing on what is cost effective to do, Bunning said. To the extent that someone wants to go beyond that, you will have to look at other mechanisms.

Some industries the report criticized for not participating in the voluntary programs said they were waiting for Congress to pass legislation.

We are not on the side of the disbelievers or on the side of those that say do little, said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association. Lets get a solution that works. michael kors hamilton quilted