By Mandy Gunasekara
Published April 30, 2019
This week, Democrats in the House of Representatives will vote on a bill (H.R. 9) intended to prevent President Trump from withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. The legislation would also force the president to develop a plan for implementation — an endeavor even the Obama administration failed to accomplish — and would prevent any funds from being spent on withdrawal activities, which at this point amounts to a whopping 55 cents. That's the cost of sending one letter from the White House to the United Nation’s Secretary-General in New York.
Trump understood that the Paris climate accord was a bad deal for the American people. It gave major polluters like China and India a free pass while locking in the last administration’s economically ruinous regulations that would have cost millions of jobs and undercut our recent economic success. Even more alarming is that all of those lost jobs would be sent overseas to countries that don’t use basic pollution control technology American industrial operators have been using for decades.
Since the president's Rose Garden announcement that the United States would exit this disastrous deal, the lack of environmental progress from the nations that remain only further vindicates his decision. China’s carbon emissions in 2017 wiped out U.S. reductions more than threefold, and last year grew even faster. In 2017, India saw emissions rise nearly 5 percent with the growth split evenly between power and other sectors such as transport and industry.
According to a 2018 report, as the president predicted, all EU countries are off target in reaching initial Paris commitments and have failed to adjust domestic policies to meaningfully advance them. After spending $580 billion on renewable subsidies, Germany has had no meaningful carbon emissions reductions.
The country has attempted to fix the numbers in their favor claiming emissions have fallen by 28 percent since 1990, but the bulk of those reductions occurred because of the collapse of East German industry after reunification, not their massive subsidization of renewables that has increased their citizens electricity rates by 50 percent.
Where the Paris climate accord's words have failed, American innovation, our free-market system and President Trump continue to deliver.
Meanwhile, the United States continues to lead the world in greenhouse gas emissions reductions while growing our economy to historic heights. While emissions ticked up slightly in 2018 due to President Trump’s more than magical economy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts emissions will continue to decrease in 2019 and 2020. According to the International Energy Agency, U.S. overall reductions represent the “largest absolute decline among all countries since 2000.”
Any country that truly wishes to address climate in an economically beneficial way — such as creating five million jobs and over 3 percent GDP growth — should stop wasting their time with the empty and ineffective words of the Paris climate accord. Instead, they should seek to replicate U.S. actions. A key part of the president’s energy dominance agenda is sharing American energy expertise and innovative technologies with any country willing to constructively engage.
During the floor discussion of H.R. 9 we will undoubtedly see that Democrats hate the president so much they are unwilling to recognize any of his achievements even when those achievements align with their party’s traditional goals. We have the cleanest air on record, are reinvesting in clean water infrastructure, have created millions of jobs, including 20,000 manufacturing jobs a month, and lead the world in greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Unfortunately, in the eyes of today’s Democrats, none of these counts because they have all occurred under the leadership of President Trump.
Where the Paris climate accord's words have failed, American innovation, our free-market system and President Trump continue to deliver. Democrats who truly wish to address climate and create jobs should spend more time working with the Trump administration instead of trying to undermine its every move. Then, we could work together expanding U.S. environmental exceptionalism by finally getting the rest of the world to catch up.