Politics & Policy

Let the Senate Just Say ‘Non!’ to the Paris Agreement

President Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shake hands at a Paris climate-change accord ceremony in 2016. (Photo: How Hwee Young/Pool/Reuters)
Through Obama’s Clean Power Plan, it would devastate the U.S. economy.

America must flee the Paris Agreement, and the Senate is the emergency exit.

President Donald J. Trump will decide, in his words, “very soon” whether the United States will remain enslaved by Obama’s signature on the United Nations’ deal to battle “global warming.” This budget-busting, job-killing scam fails miserably on its own terms. At best, it would have a microscopic impact on this imaginary “crisis.” So President Trump should keep his campaign promise and rescue America from this nonsensical accord. The question is: How?

Trump may be tempted to withdraw from this deal unilaterally, much as Obama trampled the rule of law by ignoring Congress and single-handedly roping this anvil around America’s collective neck. Instead, President Trump should obey the Constitution and submit the Paris pact to the Senate for its consideration. It almost certainly would fail to score the 67 votes required for passage, which would spell its doom.

And that doom would be well deserved.

Obama’s 1,560-page Clean Power Plan (CPP) embodies the cold iron shackles, ball, and chain that the Paris Agreement would slap onto the U.S. economy. According to Obama’s White House, the Paris-driven CPP would establish a “goal of reducing emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.” This is vague and gassy. Cutting energy-related carbon dioxide 27 percent below 2005’s output of 6 billion metric tons means that 2025’s yield cannot exceed 4.4 billion metric tons. America last produced that annual maximum in 1983.

In other words, the 335 million Americans whom the Census Bureau expects will live here 7.5 years hence would be restricted to no more CO2 than what 234 million Americans produced 42 years earlier.

How will 1983’s CO2 “crop” serve 101 million more Americans than existed back then? Easy: Handcuff the U.S. economy.

Based on data from Obama’s Energy Information Administration, I calculate that the Paris Agreement, via the CPP, will do the following between 2015 and 2040:

‐Slash real gross domestic product by $993 billion ($39.7 billion per year, on average).

‐Slice real disposable income by $382 billion ($15.3 billion, annually).

‐Chop manufacturing shipments by $1.13 trillion ($45.4 billion).

‐Whack manufacturing jobs by 1.7 million (68,000).

‐Hack non-farm jobs by 900,000 (35,000).

‐Cut light-vehicle sales by 310,000 units (12,400).

(For my detailed estimate of the potential damage from the Paris Agreement and CPP , please click here.)

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Satellite-based observations cast enormous shadows on the entire theory of so-called global warming. As former NASA scientist and climatologist Roy Spencer and atmosphericist John Christy document each month, readings from space-based gauges show that Earth’s average temperature peaked in early 1998 and stayed well below that high until an early 2016 spike, from which temperatures soon tumbled anew. These data — untainted by exhaust fans and even barbecue grills that affect federal, land-based measurement stations — refute the allegedly inexorable and menacing warming trend that gives Al Gore and his followers the vapors.

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Even if one sincerely believes that Earth is on the verge of boiling in a cauldron of carbon dioxide, the Paris Agreement and CPP do amazingly close to nothing to help. If all goes perfectly — and China and India quit coal, cold turkey — CPP would curb predicted warming in 2050 by a whopping 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit. This is like spinning a thermostat dial from 72 degrees way, way, way down to 71.98 degrees. If incinerating $993 billion in GDP buys this little global cooling through 2040, a one-degree Fahrenheit reduction in anticipated temperature growth between 2015 and 2050 would cost Americans $70 trillion.

The Paris Agreement is science fiction.

What’s worse, other nations already are cutting corners, if not cheating on this deal. One con-job involves biomass, an energy source composed of organic material, often including wood and recycled wood products.

“European nations publicly keen to boost their climate credentials by switching to ‘green’ biomass are accused of working behind the scenes to expunge their carbon emissions from burning wood in power stations from national emissions statistics,” Fred Pearce reported in New Scientist on May 23.

“Across Europe, when large power plants switch from burning coal to burning biomass from forests, this is considered ‘green,’ and they are not required to account for their carbon emissions,” Sasha Stashwick, senior advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told New Scientist. “But the atmosphere doesn’t care about our accounting tricks. Burning wood for electricity increases carbon pollution for many decades compared to coal.”

Austria, Finland, France, and Sweden are among the nations that are behaving like obesity patients who promise their doctors that they will consume no more than 1,500 calories per day and then conveniently “forget” to count the cookies and potato chips that they devour.

Pearce also reported that these nations have accelerated their deforestation, to fuel their biomass-powered plants. This is severely un-green: “Fewer trees will mean less carbon being soaked up from the atmosphere,” Pearce observed.

Thus, the Paris Agreement and Europe’s biomass boom are an eco-swindle that would defraud and impoverish America while potentially making the status quo de carbone even worse.

Paul Driessen, senior policy adviser with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, captures the profoundly un-Trumpian nature of this America Last fandango:

Developing countries are under no obligation to reduce their fossil fuel use or carbon dioxide emissions. Only we developed nations are. This means we are supposed to give developing countries $100 billion per year while we slash our fossil-fuel use, switch to expensive, unreliable renewable energy, and trash our economies.

(C-Fact, several of whose events I have addressed, has sponsored a petition for U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.)

For these reasons and more, this treaty most assuredly would fail to secure the 67 votes needed for Senate approval.

As well it should.

Handing the Paris Agreement to the Senate, and urging its rejection, would be good policy and good politics for President Trump and the GOP.

The Paris Agreement is the catechism by which meddlesome liberals hope to tell Americans how to live their lives. Statists will not surrender these marble tablets easily.

If the president vacates Paris by fiat, the frenzied, Trump-hating Left will erupt in its most spastic outburst yet. For liberals, “global warming” is Satan, and fighting it is their faith. This theory, for them, is “settled,” above scientific skepticism, and beyond debate. For those who worship in the Church of Climate Change, Trump’s ditching the Paris Agreement would be the firebombing of its basilica.

The Paris Agreement is the catechism by which meddlesome liberals hope to tell Americans how to live their lives — how much electricity to use, what cars they may drive, how to wash their dishes, how to shower, and so on. Statists will not surrender these marble tablets easily.

The Left’s ensuing rage will fuel hysterical cries that Trump is demented, dangerous, and must be impeached, removed for incapacity under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, or both.

Instead, Trump’s transmission of the Paris Agreement to the Senate for its advice and consent would show the legislative branch respect, rather than the disdain that Obama displayed by circumventing Congress on this momentous matter. The senators who would assess this treaty include Democrats in five swing states that Trump won in November and five more in states that Trump and 2012 nominee Mitt Romney both secured: Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, Montana’s Jon Tester, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.

Trump-loathing journalists, activists, and politicians will have trouble tarring him as a modern-day Dr. No if Democrats help him say, “Non!” to the Paris pact.

And if these Democrat senators in Trump and Trump-Romney states support this calamitous deal — America’s economy and their constituents’ jobs be damned — Trump can make them and their votes famous before the November 2018 mid-term elections.

Either way, this escape route out from Paris would be the path to victory for American workers, the GOP, and President Donald J. Trump.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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