On Monday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the American Energy Alliance, and 38 other prominent conservative groups urged Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate treaty.
The letter outlines how the Paris agreement would act contrary to President Trump’s energy agenda and does not act in the best interest of the American people.
“The Paris Climate Treaty is an all pain for no gain agreement that will produce no measurable climate benefits and exacerbate energy poverty around the globe,” said Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment and former head of Trump’s EPA transition team. “The Paris treaty undermines American democracy and allows foreign bureaucrats to determine the direction of U.S. domestic economic and energy policy. Its main goal is to build a green industrial complex on the backs of American consumers and taxpayers.”
The conservative coalition argues that the Paris treaty does not allow for the Trump White House to renegotiate or lower the United States’ agreement to reduce the usage of fossil fuels, but instead would require more ambitious commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions every five years in perpetuity. Further, the free-market groups argue that remaining in the Paris agreement while eliminating Obama’s climate agenda would subject key parts of the Trump’s deregulatory agenda to unnecessary legal risk.
“Remaining in the Paris Climate Treaty would undermine the Trump administration’s efforts to protect American families from unnecessary and burdensome climate regulations,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance and former head of Trump’s DOE transition team.
The Paris agreement would bind countries to cut greenhouse emissions on a country-by-country basis. Obama committed the United States to reduce carbon emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025.
Conservatives contend that Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris agreement on the campaign trail and that the political fallout of not withdrawing from the accord would be devastating. Mike McKenna, a conservative energy lobbyist said, “This is a campaign promise — a specific promise the president made repeatedly. He’s not just going to be able to walk away from it.”
Senior White House adviser Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt argued against staying in the Paris agreement. White House advisers Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argue that the United States should remain in the Paris agreement.
“The treaty is based on the idea that from now on developed nations like the U.S. must live with less and pay more. That is not the American way,” said Pyle. “President Trump’s ‘America First’ energy plan is about making energy more affordable and giving Americans more say over their energy choices. The Paris treaty stands in the way of achieving that goal. It’s time for President Trump to fulfill the promise he made to the American worker and withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Treaty.”
Read the letter here: