Today, senior White House officials and Cabinet members will meet to discuss the future of U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement is actually a treaty entered into by the Obama administration that casts a long shadow on America’s energy producers and job creators. As a treaty, it keeps in place a framework that reduces Americans’ access to affordable energy and promotes the Environmental Protection Agency as our nation’s unlawful climate legislator.
President Trump should keep his campaign promise to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty and submit it to the Senate with a recommendation against ratification. Reaffirming the Senate’s constitutional treaty role reestablishes our tradition as a nation of laws, not men, restores a vital check on executive lawmaking, and discourages our negotiating partners and U.S. officials from attempting to circumvent our system in the future. Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Treaty is critical. However, a no vote in the Senate is equally important to expose the Paris treaty as an illegitimate power grab and prevent future leaders from reinstating the agreement against the will of the people.
1. The Paris Climate Treaty threatens America’s economic future and access to affordable energy.
Staying in the treaty would be detrimental to the U.S. economy and consumers. Affordable, plentiful, and reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern economic life. The United States cannot comply with the treaty AND pursue a pro-growth energy agenda. Paris is designed to make fossil fuels, which provide 80% of U.S. energy, more expensive and eventually to eliminate the use of coal, oil, and natural gas.
2. The Paris Climate Treaty risks inflicting energy poverty on countries around the globe.
The treaty unfairly imposes an anti-energy agenda on developing nations. Many of these countries are already energy poor and this agreement will ultimately make life harder for them. The long-term emissions-reduction goals in the treaty can’t be achieved without drastically reducing developing nations’ access to affordable energy from fossil fuels. This agreement is unethical and thwarts attempts to alleviate poverty around the world.
3. The Paris Climate Treaty sets a dangerous and unlawful precedent because even though it’s a treaty, it was never ratified by the Senate.
Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Treaty would reverse former President Obama’s attempted end-run around the constitutional treaty process, and ensure that elections, not political pressure campaigns organized via the United Nations, determine the direction of U.S. domestic economic and energy policy. The whole point of the Constitution’s shared treaty power is to prevent this sort of situation, in which President Obama circumvented the Senate because it could not be counted on to provide a rubber stamp. If President Trump fails to withdraw, the Paris Climate Treaty will continue as a pressure campaign that requires additional commitments to reduce emissions every five years. Any future President could invoke this international commitment and pick up where Obama left off.
4. The Paris Climate Treaty goes against all of President Trump’s energy promises.
President Obama negotiated Paris to confer a treaty-like status on his domestic climate policies—often called the “war on coal” but effectively a war on affordable energy. The ultimate aim is to make coal, oil, and natural gas increasingly uneconomical to produce, export, and consume. Remaining a party to Paris thus endangers President Trump’s goal of making the United States the world’s dominant energy producer and undermines the energy price advantage that is key to the manufacturing renaissance President Trump seeks to foster.
5. The Paris Climate Treaty has no measurable climate or environmental benefits.
The Paris Climate Treaty will produce no detectable or measurable climate benefits, while diverting trillions of dollars from productive investments that would enhance global welfare to political uses. Paris is really about promoting a global bureaucracy that supports the green industrial complex at the expense of American consumers and taxpayers.