Washington Examiner discusses President Trump’s upcoming decision regarding the Kigali agreement with Myron Ebell.
The Trump administration is reviewing whether to leave the far more publicized Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing fossil fuel use. Former President Barack Obama pushed for the agreement to avert the worst effects of global warming, which many scientists attribute to the burning of coal and other fossil fuels.
But the Kigali agreement is different. The United Nations deal seeks to phase out chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are potent chemicals also blamed for causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. It would phase out HFCs in the U.S. and the other 200 countries that are signatories, directing businesses to use alternative chemicals as replacements by the middle of the next decade.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its critics. The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute’s environmental program director, Myron Ebell, is one. Ebell is the former head of Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency, which means he could have the ear of the administration.
“CEI opposes the Kigali amendment because the purpose of the Montreal Protocol to the Vienna treaty is to protect the ozone layer,” Ebell said, speaking on behalf of the think tank. And the “Kigali amendment hijacks the Montreal Protocol and turns it into a global warming treaty.”
Nevertheless, he said the amendment is a new treaty commitment and therefore must be ratified by the Senate. “At least three other amendments to the Montreal Protocol have been submitted to the Senate and ratified,” he said.
Ebell has been focused on making sure President Trump sticks to his campaign promise and withdraws from the Paris agreement. CEI has been lobbying hard and supported two weeks of online video ads to drive home the perceived need to reject the climate change agreement and send it to the Senate for ratification.
Ebell’s push is prompted by reports that many of Trump’s influential advisers, such as son-in-law Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are in favor of remaining as signatories to the nonbinding agreement. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has said he thinks the agreement should be renegotiated.
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