Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed an executive order
committing California to the world's most ambitious program for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed an executive order committing California to the world's most ambitious program for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Shortly thereafter, President Bush came under fire when the New York Times reported that an administration official "repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between [greenhouse gas] emissions and global warming." These changes were, in fact, trivial, and amounted to little more than the occasional insertion of adverbs. There is nothing nefarious about an official's making small adjustments in a document's emphasis in order to render it more harmonious with the administration's policy, and the fallout from the Times report is likely to be limited. But it is reasonable to ask whether Bush will be able to resist continuing pressure to implement guidelines similar to California's. Fortunately, the answer to that question is probably yes. Schwarzenegger may feel constrained to please his Green constituency, but a U.S. president accountable to a national electorate faces no such pressure. In any case, Schwarzenegger hasn't explained exactly how he will achieve his targets--and by the time Californians notice the mismatch between promise and reality, the governor will be long retired, and his promises largely forgotten.