The most consequential deregulatory action taken by President Donald J. Trump in his first term — the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate treaty — finally became official on Nov. 4.
In the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump pledged to take the United States out of Paris if elected, but as soon as he took office a huge campaign was mounted to force him to break that promise.
Opponents of getting out of the treaty included all the environmental pressure groups; hundreds of Democratic members of Congress; CEOs of most big multinational corporations; prominent scientific institutions; and the leaders of nearly all our major international allies.
Even members of his own Cabinet and senior White House staff lobbied him to stay in, most privately and some in public. American supporters of the treaty dubbed it the “Climate Accord,” attempting to elude the fact that it was a treaty requiring Senate consent.
Although the treaty had been hailed by then-President Barack Obama as “a turning point for the world” at the time it was negotiated in December 2015 at the U.N. climate conference in Paris, the main argument presented to President Trump in favor of staying in was that it actually didn’t amount to much.
Obama’s commitment to reduce U.S. emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 would be easy to achieve, especially since the Obama administration had killed the coal industry.
And if we did miss our commitment, so what? The accord was just a voluntary agreement with no enforcement provisions. In fact, it was really just an expression of good intentions.
Read the full article at Inside Sources.