Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trump should kill the failing Paris Agreement

By Brooke Rollins and Chip Roy. Brooke L. Rollins is the president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. She served as Governor Rick Perry’s deputy general counsel, and later as his policy director. Chip Roy serves as the director of the Center for the Tenth Amendment Action at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He is a former chief of staff for Sen. Ted Cruz. Excerpts:
"It limits energy independence. As residents of a state whose development of fracking technology has unlocked oil and natural gas reserves that exceed those of OPEC nations, we applauded Trump’s Executive Order 13783, on “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” Adherence to the Paris climate agreement would stall or preclude unleashing American energy, a prodigious stimulant for economic growth.

It may not be legal. The legal status of the Paris deal is not settled. It currently drifts in a legally gray area. Is it an international agreement requiring only a presidential signature or is it a treaty requiring the Senate’s vote of approval? The law does not clearly indicate that the signature of one president can bind the U.S. beyond that president’s term of office. As the constitutional question remains, note that a global system of energy governance under U.N. auspices would adversely affect not just the energy sector but also the entire U.S. economy. And what percentage of U.S. citizens supports the U.N.’s global governance of any matter?"

"It is anti-American. The Paris accord imposes far more onerous measures on the U.S. than any other country. While then-President Obama agreed to mandatory economy-wide carbon cuts enforceable under our rule of law, the climate accord allows other countries to pledge aspirational goals along the lines of "we might try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if it won’t hurt our economy and if we receive billions of dollars from rich countries to do so." This makes no sense. Poor countries know better than to undermine their struggling economies by complying with voluntary pledges to cut carbon.

It is designed to fail. The Paris agreement packs a double-sized wallop. Not only will it create a chokehold on economic growth, it will not actually reduce greenhouse gases enough to avoid the “dangerous warming” predicted by the models of the U.N.’s official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. At the end of the day, the restrictions advanced by countries with little to lose and everything to gain from shackling the U.S. economy will ultimately prove destructive to all involved.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, fortunately, stalled in the courts, would mandate re-engineering our nation’s entire electric system from one controlled by cost, reliability and safety to a system controlled by the carbon content of the fuels. Yet this upheaval would only decrease the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s predicted rate of future warming by 0.02 percent. Statistically speaking, that amounts to nothing.

The most aggressive climate crusaders in the U.K. and Germany are actually increasing their greenhouse gas emissions while their retail electric rates are, respectively, two and three times higher than the average retail rate in the U.S. German media now characterizes electricity as a “luxury good” for middle and low-income families. The world’s energy future looks increasingly grim through the lens of Paris."

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