What Trump got right in his de­ci­sion to nix Paris

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - MERCEDES SCHLAPP Mercedes Schlapp is a Fox News con­trib­u­tor, co-founder of Cove Strate­gies and former White House direc­tor of spe­cialty me­dia un­der Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

Note to lib­er­als: The world will not end be­cause of Pres­i­dent Trump’s de­ci­sion to exit the Paris cli­mate ac­cord. Former Pres­i­dent Barack Obama im­me­di­ately crit­i­cized his suc­ces­sor for al­legedly “re­ject­ing the fu­ture.” Lib­er­als called Mr. Trump’s de­ci­sion “dan­ger­ous,” and even some lib­eral may­ors will go rogue and stay true to Paris. Ac­tor Leonardo DiCaprio pleaded with the pres­i­dent not to pull out of the agree­ment by tweet­ing: “I hope you’ll make the moral de­ci­sion to­day to pro­tect fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

But Mr. Trump is not re­ject­ing the fu­ture. He’s fo­cus­ing on what is best for Amer­ica and the Amer­i­can work­ers. His de­ci­sion is not a re­jec­tion of the sci­ence of cli­mate change, but of an im­prac­ti­cal agree­ment that im­poses in­ter­na­tional over­sight on our en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies and makes the U.S. carry a heavy fi­nan­cial bur­den to un­der­write this Oba­macre­ated utopia.

The rest of us just might think that the U.S. should not have to play by a dif­fer­ent set of rules than ri­vals such as China and In­dia. We should not have to sub­si­dize other na­tions by dol­ing out $3 bil­lion for a “Green Cli­mate Fund” that was never au­tho­rized by Congress. The rest of us might be a bit re­al­is­tic and un­der­stand that even if every sin­gle na­tion reaches its cli­mate goals in the agree­ment, the pay­off will be to slightly re­duce the global tem­per­a­ture by 0.17 de­grees Cel­sius over the next eight decades.

And the rest of us un­der­stand that the eco­nomic im­pact of Paris on our own in­dus­trial states will be detri­men­tal on our jobs and our na­tion’s eco­nomic growth.

Even by with­draw­ing from the Paris Agree­ment, the U.S. can still find a bal­ance be­tween pro­mot­ing busi­ness and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. We need to re­spect and care for our land and nat­u­ral re­sources, but not at the high price of sell­ing our soul to an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment. We do not need the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity keep­ing a close eye on our na­tion and dic­tat­ing from afar.

The United States will con­tinue to be a leader in in­no­va­tion of clean en­ergy and oil and nat­u­ral pro­duc­tion de­spite ex­it­ing the Paris Agree­ment. Other na­tions should fol­low our lead.

CEOs from large cor­po­ra­tions are heav­ily in­vested in clean en­ergy and urged the pres­i­dent not to with­draw from the Paris Agree­ment. Tesla CEO Elon Musk al­ready de­cided to with­draw from Mr. Trump’s ad­vi­sory coun­cil be­cause of the de­ci­sion. The skep­ti­cal busi­ness lead­ers need to un­der­stand that Pres­i­dent Trump will re­main true to his cam­paign prom­ise to the Amer­i­can worker, not the fi­nan­cial pock­ets of these well-heeled cor­po­rate ti­tans.

The Paris deal never re­ceived a vote in the Se­nate, but Pres­i­dent Obama never sub­mit­ted it for rat­i­fi­ca­tion. Mr. Obama in­stead used his ex­ec­u­tive author­ity and even changed the lan­guage in the agree­ment to side­step the need for a con­gres­sional vote. The 128 other na­tions that signed on to the agree­ment rat­i­fied the agree­ment through their leg­is­la­tures. Mr. Obama’s short-term vic­tory led to the re­pu­di­a­tion of the agree­ment in the long term, the pun­ish­ment for not be­ing forth­com­ing with vot­ers and for not fol­low­ing the re­quire­ments of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

While Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping are at­tempt­ing to claim the man­tle as the new lead­ers of the global cli­mate change fight, they did not re­veal the whole truth of the Paris agree­ment. Un­like the U.S., China is not re­quired to re­duce emis­sions im­me­di­ately and ac­tu­ally can in­crease emis­sions un­til 2030. In­dia wants money, and China wants more time.

Stay­ing in the Paris deal would set the U.S. gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials up for end­less le­gal bat­tles if they do not meet their in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions. It would quickly be­come a le­gal night­mare for the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ken Black­well, former do­mes­tic pol­icy ad­viser to the Trump pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and now a mem­ber of the board of the Na­tional Tax­pay­ers Union, stated that “the last thing we need is another mean­ing­less in­ter­na­tional agree­ment where the U.S. makes all the sac­ri­fices and car­ries the cost of other na­tions, with lit­tle ac­tual im­pact on the cli­mate.”

From NATO to the Paris, Mr. Trump rec­og­nizes that the United States has car­ried too heavy a load for too long, bur­den­ing the Amer­i­can worker in the process. Now he has a moral obli­ga­tion to lighten that bur­den.

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