Bush Administration Will Pursue Soot Control

Published January 1, 2003

John Marburger, chief science advisor to President George W. Bush, told a news conference on November 25 that research into the effects of soot and ways to control soot emissions will be important parts of the administration’s global warming policy.

“You will see more emphasis on things like soot and other components of greenhouse gases,” Marburger said. According to a Reuters news report, other administration officials at the news conference said it was too early in the budget-writing process to say how much funding the administration would seek for climate change in fiscal 2004.

According to a November 28 Knight-Ridder news story by Seth Borenstein, Marburger said targeting soot makes sense: Because soot remains suspended in air only for days, reducing it could immediately slash its contribution to global warming. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, stays in the air about a century, so reducing its emissions would take much longer to show results.

Also according to Borenstein, the Bush administration in its fiscal 2003 budget message targeted soot as a bigger menace to public health and air pollution than smog. “The administration also has upheld a Clinton rule mandating cleaner diesel engines and is proposing a voluntary cleanup of off-road diesel engines, such as those used in construction.”