AP Continues to Perpetuate US-Kyoto 1997 Mythology

APlogoUpsideDownNo environment-related historical myth seems stronger than the one claiming that if it weren't for the Republican Congress in the late 1990s and President George W. Bush after that, the US would have ratified the Kyoto Treaty and would be under mandatory strictures designed to combat alleged "global warming" -- which, as frequently noted here and elsewhere, has been, depending on the source referenced, on hiatus for eight years to over a decade.

In an article about the Obama administration's upcoming involvement in international negotiations about so-called "climate change" after what he calls "eight years on the sidelines" ("US takes new climate change agenda to global talks"), the Associated Press's Dina Capiello continued the wire service's dishonorable long-term perpetuation of the GOP-bad, Dems-good myth (just a few previous posts on other AP examples are here, here, and here at NewsBusters; here, here, and here at BizzyBlog) by writing that:

And unlike 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was drafted, there is now a Democratic-controlled Congress moving to embrace mandatory limits on greenhouse gases.

Yeah, if it weren't for those nasty Republicans, Bill Clinton and Al Gore would have gotten Kyoto ratified, and all would be right with the world.

Uh, not exactly.

For the umpteenth time, this is the truth about what happened in 1997, as noted in this 2005 Wall Street Journal editorial:

In 1997, the U.S. Senate adopted the Byrd-Hagel Resolution by 95-0, urging the Clinton Administration not to sign any climate-change protocol that "would result in serious harm to the economy." In 1998 Al Gore signed the Protocol. Yet President Clinton .... never submitted it to the Senate.

At the time, there were 45 Democrats in the Senate. Obviously, at least 40 Democrats voted for the Byrd-Hagel Resolution.

Another clear and inconvenient truth is that Gore's signature was only symbolic.

Finally, the mythology in previous AP articles on the topic is that Bush "rejected" Kyoto, when the fact is that it was never submitted it to the Senate in the first place.

The difference between 2009 and 1997 is not, as Capiello implies, that Congress is controlled by Democrats. It's that there is a Congress that happens to be controlled by Democrats may be, as Capiello claims without qualification and without providing clear evidence, "moving to embrace mandatory limits on greenhouse gases."

One thing that hasn't changed is AP's dogged and disgraceful insistence on misleading readers about what really happened with Kyoto.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.