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The Paris withdraw: A smart decision

By NICOLAS LORIS and KATIE TUBB The Heritage Foundation (TNS) Published: June 4, 2017 4:00 AM

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement has unleashed a predictable firestorm of criticism. But it was the right move.

The Paris agreement, which committed the U.S. to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was a truly bad deal -- bad for American taxpayers, American energy companies, and every American who depends on affordable, reliable energy. Here are four reasons Trump was right to withdraw.

-- Paris is costly and ineffective: The Paris Agreement is highly costly and would do close to nothing to address climate change. If carried out, the energy regulations agreed to in Paris by the Obama administration would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, harm American manufacturing, and destroy $2.5 trillion in gross domestic product by the year 2035.

Even if every country met its commitments -- a big if, considering China has already underreported its carbon dioxide emissions and there are no repercussions for failing to meet the pledges -- the changes in the earth's temperature would be almost undetectable.

-- Paris wasted taxpayer money: In negotiations leading up to the Paris conference, participants created the Green Climate Fund, designed to collect $100 billion per year by 2020. The goal of this fund is to subsidize green energy and pay for other climate adaptation and mitigation programs in poorer nations. It was also created to get buy-in (literally) from poorer nations for the final Paris Agreement.

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The Obama administration ended up shipping $1 billion in taxpayer dollars to this fund without authorization from Congress.

Some of the nations that will receive these government-funded climate programs have in the past been among the most corrupt, meaning corrupt governments will collect the funds, not those who actually need it. No amount of transparency negotiated in the Paris Agreement is going to change this.

-- Withdrawal is a demonstration of leadership: The media is making a big to-do about the fact that the only countries not participating in Paris besides the U.S. are Syria and Nicaragua. That doesn't change the fact that it's still a bad deal. Misery loves company, including North Korea and Iran, who are signatories of the deal.

Some have argued that it is an embarrassment for the U.S. to cede leadership on global warming to countries like China. But to draw a moral equivalency between the U.S. and China on this issue is absurd.

China has serious air-quality issues (not from carbon dioxide), and Beijing has repeatedly falsified its coal-consumption and air-monitoring data, even as it participated in the Paris Agreement. There is no environmental comparison between the U.S. and China.

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Other countries have a multitude of security, economic and diplomatic reasons to work with America to address issues of mutual concern. Withdrawal from Paris will not change that.

Certainly, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will be met with consternation from foreign leaders, as was the case when the U.S. withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol. However, it could very well help future negotiations if other governments know that the U.S. is willing and able to resist diplomatic pressure in order to protect American interests.

-- Withdrawal is good for American energy competitiveness: Some proponents of Paris are saying that withdrawing presents a missed opportunity for energy companies. Others are saying that it doesn't matter what Trump does because the momentum of green energy is too strong. Neither argument is a compelling case for remaining in Paris.

Whether conventional or focused on renewables, the best way for American energy companies to be competitive is to be innovative in the marketplace, not build their business model around international agreements.

There is nothing about leaving Paris that prevents Americans from continuing to invest in new energy technologies. The market for energy is $6 trillion and projected to grow by a third by 2040. Roughly 1.3 billion people do not yet have access to electricity, let alone reliable, affordable energy. That's a big market incentive for the private sector to pursue the next energy technology without the aid of taxpayer money.

Paris was the open door for future U.S. administrations to regulate and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on international climate programs, just as the Obama administration did without any input from Congress.

Now, fortunately, that door has been shut.


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moe123199 Jun 4, 2017 7:02 PM

Great decision! !!! Democratic B.S.

redleg6 Jun 4, 2017 11:53 AM

A few Quotes from the Left side of Un-Hinged .......

Barack Obama...Trump's decision means America now "joins a handful of nations that reject the future."

John Kerry...Trump's decision "will rightly be remembered as one of the most shameful any president has made.".... Trump is not helping the "forgotten Americans" he pledged to elevate, but instead will give their kids asthma (perhaps as soon as this summer!)....

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,... Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement is a "devastating failure of historic proportions,".....

Cong. Nancy Pelosi, D.CA...“The question I have forDonald Trump, is how is he ever going to explain to his grandchildren what he did to the air they breathe —assuming they breathe air. And I have to assume that is the case,”...

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, D,. ..”Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement is an abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace"....

Democratic super-donor Tom Steyer, an investorin many green-tech companies said, Trump is "committing a traitorous act of war against the American people."....

CNN's FareedZakaria..."this will be the day that the United States resigned as the leader of the free world."....

American Civil Liberties Union...the decision, “would be a massive step back for racial justice, and an assault on communities of color across the U.S.”....

*** Al Gore... "Trump's decision is profoundly in conflict with what the majority of Americans want from our president"....

** Hey Al, Americans elected Trump....Deal with it!