I believe there are two main reasons why Kyoto has been rejected by the U.S (and I don't see either as a real excuse why not to adopt)
The first is that administration officials claim that it will be very expensive and affect our economy. It's a given that in a short-term it'll take a little getting-used too and there be some additional price to pay. But in a long-term, sustainability and ecological wisdom will be beyond worth the cost.
The second is that administration officials focus on the fact that the Kyoto Protocol doesn't offer these same requirements to developing countries including China and India, and so they see it as a political effort; to stall progress in America and allow China to advance at a quicker rate since they have no cap to reach.
The second argument I believe is absolutely understandable. However, I have always seen the environment and education as the two most important issues of all we must offer dear heart to (much more important issues than Iraq and so) and really believe there's no excuse why we can't discipline our emissions levels like much of the rest of the world has done. Some like Tony Blair, who I disagree with very often on foreign policy, I commend for even going beyond that and calling for an over 60% reduction in emissions.
I do happen to, and sadly, absolutely agree with you that this administration has less heart for the environment than any other administration in our nation's history. Essentially, the environmental movement was a Republican movement. It was Teddy Roosevelt who created the public parks system, and Nixon who established the EPA. The Republican party used to have all the right ideas initially on the environment, they were the ones who mostly set the stage for our environmental standards today.
And this is exactly an example of what I mean when I say that the GOP has abandoned its roots. If anything, they're attacking their own party's accomplishments in the last sixty years. The Democrats, who also I believe don't do enough to protect the environment as they should, have much more of the right idea than the GOP does now. The Democrats have seized this issue, and with the exception of Landrieu and both Hawaii senators, they fought to protect ANWR. They're fighting to maintain the existing environmental standards we cherish. A handful have even been working to allow cities to adopt their own local caps. And with the exception of a few senators including McCain, this current GOP just say "No!".
And it is indeed absolutely freightening that while our administration officials are concerned about nuclear proliferation and defending our country from terrorism, Bush decides to sell nuclear-capable F-16's to Pakistan and wants to build more nuclear power plants. We might just get to the point where if one plant was attacked and explodes, it would generate a domino effect across the nation and only harm us all! It's hypocrisy!
And when I speak of hypocrisy, I also agree that developing countries need to have their own sort of restrictions and caps. But Kyoto is a most credible proposition to me: to have industrialized nations cut emission rates by 2012 below the level in 1990. And approximately 7% here shouldn't be that complicated at all, and our divide from much of the rest of the world on this just reveals how increasingly isolated we've become from the world in terms of relations.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"