By: UN Insider on April 15, 2008 The Washington Times reported this yesterday: President Bush is poised to change course and announce as early as this week that he wants Congress to pass a bill to combat global warming, and will lay out principles for what that should include. “This is an attempt to move the administration and the party closer to the center on global warming. With these steps, it is hoped that the debate over this is over, and it is time to do something,” said an administration source close to the White House who is familiar with the planning and who said to expect an announcement this week. An interesting development, especially given that the President has opposed legislative attempts by Democrats to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The question, then, is why would the Administration push for the Congress to do something about the climate crisis? The answer is in the article: The administration also is trying to head off what it sees as a regulatory disaster. Environmentalists say greenhouse gases can be regulated under existing rules under the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act or the National Environmental Policy Act, and have filed lawsuits to try to force action. The Bush administration and others want to avoid a web of rules and regulations for businesses. This makes perfect sense, and is the oft hidden nexus of environmental and private sector interests. International Business and Industry have long been saying that policies on global warming need to be coordinated across jurisdictions, because if not, the regulatory disaster mentioned by the Bush Administration would become a massive hassle and a cost to the private sector. Even on a strictly American level, having differing regulatory regimes in different states is hugely problematic for firms operating trans-continentally. It’s good to see the Administration pushing for regulation on greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s great to see them finding common ground between two sides of what need not be such a polarizing debate. If we can get some effective, acceptable legislation through the Congress, we may be able to convince other developing major emitters to sign onto future global deals on warming, which is the ultimate U.S. goal in the United Nations process. It may sound trite, but it’s true: global problems require global solutions. Andrew C. Revkin of the New York Times Dot Earth Blog posted White House Secretary Dana Perino’s responses to questions on the Washington Times article, for those who are interested in more background on this story.