WASHINGTON - Automakers and the Bush administration see eye to eye on global warming - which isn't easy with their heads buried in the sand, their critics say.
The industry and the White House say climate change is a concern, but they offer no specific plans to deal with it.
The attitude persists, despite votes by other nations last week in Bonn, Germany, to move ahead on an international treaty on climate change. It is known simply as the Kyoto accord.
'We're not working at all on it right now,' said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing 13 automakers in the United States.
Bergquist cited more pressing issues as the reason.
'I think they are living in some dream world,' Eileen Claussen said of those who ignore Kyoto.
Claussen is president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and was the Clinton administration's assistant secretary of state for the environment.
She predicted that multinational companies, such as the automakers, eventually will clamor for U.S. participation in Kyoto.
That's because sentiment is growing in Congress for limits on the gases that are thought to trap heat in the atmosphere and affect climate. They include carbon dioxide from tailpipes.
So rather than have one set of rules in the United States and another set everywhere else, the multinationals will insist on uniformity, Claussen said.
But for now, President Bush's go-it-alone approach is hailed. 'Meeting the Kyoto targets on the backs of companies would virtually require all U.S. industry to stop using all fossil fuels within a decade,' said Michael Baroody, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers.