2000 Scorecard Vote
A growing body of scientific data illustrates the potential and real impacts of global warming: rising sea levels, an increase in the intensity and length of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and droughts, and the proliferation of infectious diseases. This scientific consensus helped pave the way for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the first major international treaty for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Unfortunately, the Senate has strongly indicated that it would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol if President Clinton submitted it. In addition, members of Congress have actively worked to prevent federal agencies from even discussing measures to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
This year, Representative Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI) attached a rider to several appropriations bills including H.R. 4690, the Fiscal Year 2001 Commerce, Justice, State appropriations bill, that would have prohibited agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency from taking any steps to reduce global warming gases. Knollenberg claimed that by engaging in these activities federal agencies would be implementing the still-unratified Kyoto climate change treaty. However, his language was broadly written and could have blocked the federal government from carrying out already authorized programs--including programs to increase energy efficiency, study rises in ocean levels, and educate the public about energy conservation.
During floor consideration of H.R. 4690, Representative John Oliver (D-MA) introduced an amendment to clarify that the Knollenberg language did not apply to programs and activities that are otherwise authorized by law. On June 26, 2000, the House approved the Oliver amendment, 217–181 (House roll call vote 323). YES is the pro-environment vote. At the time this publication went to press, the Senate had not yet passed its version of the Commerce, Justice, State appropriations bill.