Bush climate action now? "Bogus": Schwarzenegger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Sunday the Bush administration did not believe it should do anything about global warming and that any last-minute action before leaving office would be “bogus.”

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pictured in this file photo participating in the Lunch Panel: A Discussion with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 2008 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 30, 2008. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Schwarzenegger, a Republican whose state has pushed unsuccessfully for federal permission to limit greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, said on ABC’s “This Week” that any move at this point against climate change would lack sincerity.

“If they would have done something this year, I would have thought it was bogus anyway,” he said. “You don’t really have an effect by doing something six months before you leave office ... it doesn’t sound to me believable at all. The sincerity is not there.”

The chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Stephen Johnson, on Friday declined to take steps to regulate climate-warming emissions under existing pollution laws, more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that his agency had the power to do just that.

Johnson said Congress should make rules to regulate these emissions and called for public comment, 15 months after the high court’s ruling. Bipartisan critics said this stance virtually assures this administration will do nothing more to curb greenhouse gases.

Johnson’s move, Schwarzenegger said, “really means basically this administration did not believe in global warming, or they did not believe that they should do anything about it since China is not doing anything about it and since India is not willing to do the same thing, so why should we do the same thing?”

Schwarzenegger said the United States should lead the fight against global warming, much as it did in the international race to put a person on the moon in the 1960s.

Legislation to limit global warming pollution by using a market-based cap-and-trade system died in the U.S. Senate last month.

President George W. Bush joined other leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Japan last week to pledge to cut emissions in half by 2050. The pledge offered no baseline year and was open to interpretation.

California is ablaze this summer with record numbers of wildfires, which Schwarzenegger said could be partially due to global warming. (Editing by Doina Chiacu)