By Matthew Vadum
President Donald Trump fulfilled a key campaign promise yesterday when he announced the United States will pull out of the potentially economically disastrous Paris Climate Accord that President Obama imposed on the country in his final months in office.
In so doing, Trump is taking on all of this global warming poppycock that rests on the utterly ridiculous notion that carbon dioxide, the natural gas humans and other earthly life forms constantly produce and expel, the same gas that promotes plant growth, is a pollutant.
It is a truly insane idea that has no support in science but leftists are running with it because they hope to browbeat and intimidate Americans into accepting shrinking the economy by drastically reducing carbon emissions.
Obama signed a legal instrument related to the Paris Climate Accord on Aug. 20, 2016, titled “Acceptance on behalf of the United States of America.” The relevant part of the document provides that Obama does “hereby accept the said Agreement and every article and clause thereof on behalf of the United States of America.”
Some on the Left are now arguing that process somehow prevents Trump from taking the country out of the agreement unilaterally, even though Obama (unconstitutionally) purported to bring the country into the agreement unilaterally.
In the White House’s Rose Garden, Trump called the treaty “the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries.” The agreement leaves American workers and taxpayers “to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”
Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund which is costing the United States a vast fortune.
Compliance with the PCA could cost the country as many as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, he said, citing a study by National Economic Research Associates. By 2040, he added, compliance could cause the country to miss out on $3 trillion in gross domestic product, wipe out 6.5 million industrial jobs, and reduce household incomes by $7,000 or more.
The pact leaves America at a disadvantage by “effectively putting” the country’s vast energy reserves, including coal, “under lock and key,” while allowing other countries to further develop their coal resources.
“In short, the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries,” he said. The PCA is “a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.”
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt hailed Trump’s action as “an historic restoration of American economic independence — one that will benefit the working class, the working poor, and working people of all stripes.” Trump has “declared that the people are rulers of this country once again,” he said in a shot at the overreaching Obama administration.
Trump has “corrected a view that was paramount in Paris that somehow the United States should penalize its own economy, be apologetic, lead with our chin, while the rest of world does little. Other nations talk a good game; we lead with action — not words.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised Trump “for dealing yet another significant blow to the Obama administration’s assault on domestic energy production and jobs.”
Ken Cuccinelli, president of Senate Conservatives Action, said Trump’s decision “sends a clear message that the environmental extremists around the globe will not dictate our economic policies.”
The Left exploded in anger at Trump for goring one of its most sacred cows, unleashing the kind of over-the-top rhetoric we’ve grown accustomed to throughout the Obama years.
Obama himself trashed Trump, and urged defiance. “Even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future, I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”
Democratic office-holders promptly answered Obama’s call to action, the Daily Caller reports. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto promised to pursue the goals of the PCA on their own, the key objective of which is to prevent future global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius.
Democratic governors announced the formation of something called the United States Climate Alliance. Govs. Jerry Brown (California), Andrew Cuomo (New York), and Jay Inslee (Washington) vowed to achieve the PCA’s goals.
San Francisco billionaire, heavy-duty Democratic donor, and George Soros ally Tom Steyer blasted out an email petition, asking recipients to “urge your governor to fulfill the commitment your state has already made to meet our Paris targets: Go to 100% renewable energy.”
“It’s now up to states, cities, and local communities to pick up the mantle of leadership and take the actions necessary to protect our children and leave them a better world,” Steyer wrote. Separately, he tweeted, “Generations of Americans will suffer the destructive effects of Trump’s greedy, selfish, and immoral decision.”
Predictably, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Trump’s decision was “an abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace.”
Former Vice President Al Gore, probably the wealthiest climate change con artist in the world, said the decision was “a reckless and indefensible action.”
The ACLU criticized Trump’s move, calling it “a massive step back for racial justice, and an assault on communities of color across the U.S.,” whatever that means.
Filmmaking leftist nut Michael Moore tweeted, “Trump just committed a crime against humanity. This admitted predator has now expanded his predatory acts to the entire planet. #ParisAccord[.]”
Some left-wingers insist that the Trump administration cannot easily extricate the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord. They’re whistling past the graveyard.
The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) claims the treaty took effect last fall after a sufficient number of countries collectively meeting the greenhouse gas-emission threshold ratified it.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, thirty days after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary.
Whether the PCA is now in effect as a lawful international treaty is one thing; whether the U.S. is part of it is a separate question.
The UN recognizes President Obama’s unilateral actions as constituting a valid U.S. ratification of the treaty. The UN is plainly wrong. Obama’s claim last year to be able to bind the U.S. on his own authority was an unconstitutional power grab.
According to the U.S. Constitution, the treaty cannot come into force in the U.S. without ratification by an affirmative vote of a constitutionally-stipulated supermajority of U.S. senators. Obama failed to submit the treaty to the Senate because he knew that it would never ratify an economic suicide pact that would deindustrialize America.
Obama’s efforts demonstrated “contempt for the U.S. treaty process and the role of Congress, particularly the Senate,” according to Steven Groves of the Heritage Foundation. “It is an attempt to achieve through executive fiat that which cannot be achieved through the democratic process.”
In “Lessons from Kyoto,” a study released by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on April 21, 2016, the authors wrote that a head of state’s signature on a UN climate treaty does not in and of itself impose the obligations of the treaty on that country.
Just because a country signs a UNFCCC agreement does not mean the agreement has any legal effect in the country. The Clinton Administration signed the Kyoto Protocol in November 1998, more than six months after the agreement opened for signature. President Clinton never submitted it to U.S. Senate for ratification. In March 2001, President George W. Bush rejected Kyoto and the U.S. never became a party.
The serially dishonest leftist Greg Sargent moans and whines at the Washington Post about how difficult, time-consuming, disruptive, and complex pulling out of the PCA is. As the Daily Caller reported in 2012, Sargent is a stenographer for the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America, according to a source there. “Greg Sargent will write anything you give him. He was the go-to guy to leak stuff.”
About the climate pact, Sargent goes on at length, claiming “[t]here will likely be a window of several years before our withdrawal takes effect — and paradoxically, some of the consequences of our pending exit from this 195-country accord could begin to take hold in the interim.”
Along similar lines, Michael D. Shear of the New York Times asserts without offering proof that Trump “will stick to the withdrawal process laid out in the Paris agreement, which President Barack Obama joined and most of the world has already ratified. That could take nearly four years to complete, meaning a final decision would be up to the American voters in the next presidential election.”
Sargent and Shear are being deceitful, arguing that because Obama supposedly ratified the PCA, that somehow constitutes a near-insurmountable obstacle preventing Trump from yanking the country out of the agreement.
This, of course, is complete nonsense.
“Trump is not quitting the Paris accord,” writes Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law. “The United States was never in it in the first place.”
According to Kontorovich, an expert in constitutional and international law, what Trump should have said at his press availability was that “the United States never properly joined the accord: It is a treaty that requires the advice and consent of the Senate. Instead, President Barack Obama choose to ‘adopt’ it with an executive order last September.”
In other words, the president is merely declaring that, notwithstanding the actions of his kinglike predecessor, the United States no longer considers itself bound by this international pact that Obama unconstitutionally foisted on the country in the absence of proper ratification by the U.S. Senate.
But Sargent tries to dazzle and distract his readers by waving all sorts of officialdom in their faces.
As CNN reports this morning, the deal stipulates that countries can’t withdraw until three years after the deal took hold, plus a one-year notice period, which means even if Trump pulls us out, that won’t take effect until late in 2020. It’s possible that Trump could pull us out in only one year, by withdrawing the United State from the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty to combat global warming that provides the Paris deal’s underpinnings. But that would be a truly drastic step — it was signed by former Republican president George H.W. Bush and overwhelmingly ratified by both parties in the Senate. So it’s likely several years will pass before our exit is formal.
Again, the U.S. cannot withdraw from something to which it is not a party. This remains true despite non-lawyer Trump’s infelicitous use of the verb “withdraw” during the presser yesterday.
Sargent warns that “if the blowback is severe enough, Trump could come under great pressure to reverse his decision.” Of course, there will be no serious blowback, at least none in the United States. Americans don’t care about the phony global warming issue. Only left-wingers and corrupt crony capitalists care.
With President Trump’s courageous decision to extend his middle finger to the cultish global warming crowd, he has placed the country back on track for impressive economic growth.
Unless, of course, lawmakers from his own party undermine him.