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So Much For That About-face

Juding from this New York Times preview, Bush's Rose Garden speech on climate today is going be... yet another farce: He'll announce "specific goals" for limiting greenhouse gases, but he won't lay out "a specific plan for legislation" and will "almost certainly" continue to oppose cap-and-trade. Maybe all that extra CO2 will vanish like magic.

More: And here's the Journal: "[Bush] will also argue against legislation that raises taxes or makes demands that are technologically unattainable and could hurt the economy, such as by raising fuel costs. He will call for more emphasis on new technology rather than raising the price of old technology." Luckily, Jon Chait dealt with this very fantasy in his TRB column last week, so I'll just link to that in lieu of ten paragraphs of sputtering apoplexy.

More still: Additional scuttlebutt, some of which might even be true. The Washington Times claims that Bush had originally proposed a cap-and-trade regime for utilities, but it "got pulled out. ... somewhere between this morning and five o'clock." And the Guardian reports that the White House had been mulling stronger targets but backed down after an uproar by congressional Republicans.

--Bradford Plumer