Big Win for Western Caucus as President Trump Formally Withdraws From Paris Climate Agreement

Aug 7, 2017
Press Release

                                                                                                                                                                                                    

For Immediate Release

Date:  August 7, 2017

Contact: Tanner Hanson

Tanner.Hanson@mail.house.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), Chief Defense and Interior Officer Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02), Chief Infrastructure and Forestry Officer Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and Western Caucus Members Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-At Large), Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04), Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05) and Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05) released the following statement following formalization of the United States’ withdrawal from the 2016 Paris Climate Accords:

“After eight years of regulatory misadventure and self-imposed economic slumber our nation—thanks to President Trump—is once again setting a course for sensible energy policy,” said Chairman Gosar. “It was clear that the Agreement represented a wealth transfer from the United States to other signatory countries—nearly two hundred of them who wouldn’t have had to alter their energy and emission habits in the slightest in order to benefit from sterilized U.S. energy and resource sectors.  U.S. compliance would have come with a nearly trillion dollar price tag. Now that President Trump’s State Department has formally issued notice of withdrawal to the United Nations, we are well on our way to renewed energy supremacy and a policy playbook that for once does not intentionally cripple our companies and the families that rely on them. The message is clear: No more giving other nations a helping hand at the expense of the American worker.”  

“I am thrilled that President Trump followed through on his promise to officially withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. The heroic claims of the agreement do not match reality. At best, the agreement is a feel-good measure that will have nearly zero benefit. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which organized the Paris Agreement, calculates that if every nation abides by the agreement for the next 15 years global temperature rise would be slowed by a mere .07 degrees Fahrenheit. Adding insult to injury, researchers at Stanford peg the cost of compliance at $154 billion to the U.S. economy per year and a trillion dollars globally. The Paris Agreement is a boat anchor that will increase the cost of energy and make it harder to get poor people around the world out of poverty," said Congressman Stewart.

“I applaud the Administration's decision to lead like America has historically led...by example. The United States can be more effective illustrating to the rest of the world what sound environmental stewardship looks like by innovating and continuing to be the best when we lead and set the standard versus signing agreements with foreign governments and allowing others to direct how we operate,” said Congressman Westerman.

“There’s no way around it – the rush by the Obama Administration to join the Paris Climate Accord resulted in a bad deal for the United States. It should come as no surprise that 194 other countries were so willing to sign the deal – there is no incentive or enforcement mechanism in place to ensure each country holds up their end of the bargain. This agreement only shackles the American economy while the top polluters, like China, simply reap the rewards without make meaningful changes. The President was right to formally pull out of this deal, now the U.S. can work on a better one,” stated Congressman LaMalfa.

Congressman Cheney said, “The Paris Climate Agreement represented a direct threat to our way of life in Wyoming. I’m glad that President Trump kept his word by taking America out of this deal. The flawed agreement set unattainable targets and imposed unfair emissions standards that would have devastated America's fossil fuel industry with no measurable impact on the climate. Instead, the intended purpose of the agreement, which was based on flawed science, was to uphold President Obama’s pledge to bankrupt our coal industry. While the benefits of the decision will include increased energy development, exploration and job creation, our work is not finished. We must continue our efforts to roll back disastrous policies such as the Clean Power Plan, and other components of the Obama-era war on fossil fuels that have resulted in more regulation, higher costs, and government control of our energy sector in Wyoming and across America.”

Congressman Mike Johnson stated, “Removing ourselves from the Paris agreement does not signify a retreat from America’s commitment to protect and sustain the environment. To the contrary, our exit will actually promote economic growth and job creation - both of which will help foster new investment and even greater innovation in technology and clean energy endeavors. America’s commitment is not to sign on to feel good treaties because other nations do so, but to do what is right and what is best for generations to come. Leaving the Paris agreement fulfills that commitment.”

Congressman Lamborn said, “I applaud the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and prevent the United States from being beholden to an international organization. The Paris Climate Agreement, which was never ratified by the Senate, is a non-binding accord that has proven expensive to taxpayers without improving environmental practices. I support the sovereignty of the United States on environmental issues, and I believe that we can chart our own course with an all-of-the above energy strategy that includes renewables.”

“President Trump is following through on another significant promise to the American people by removing the nation from the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement was the capstone of the Obama Administration’s attempt to circumvent the constitutional powers of Congress and the antithesis of job creation and American energy production. By withdrawing from the agreement, President Trump is signaling to foreign powers and bureaucrats that the United States will not be subject to unattainable and unproductive environmental standards that will have a detrimental effect on hard-working Americans and do not come with a guarantee of compliance from other nations. I applaud President Trump for his forward thinking, commitment to his promises, and protection of American sovereignty,” concluded Congressman Biggs.


Background:

Today, Members of the Congressional Western Caucus applauded President Donald J. Trump’s formalization of the United States’ withdrawal from the 2016  Paris Climate Accords.

In the Communication announcing the formal withdrawal, the State Department stated, “the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations, in its capacity as depositary for the Paris Agreement, regarding the U.S. intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so, consistent with the terms of the Agreement.”

On June 1st, 2016, President Trump announced his Administration’s intention to fully withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords.  At the time, the Administration released the following statement regarding its decision:

The Paris Accord is a bad deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first. The Accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy and job growth while extracting meaningless commitments from the world’s top global emitters, like China. The U.S. is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers.

The Congressional Western Caucus’ June 1 Press Release emphasized the importance of the Administration’s eventual withdrawal.  It highlighted its benefit to the U.S. economy as well as the original agreement’s overall lack of impact on America’s growing use of renewable fuel sources and emissions targets. Ultimately, the Agreement was a poorly negotiated attempt by the Obama Administration to signal the U.S. as a “progressive” nation while undermining U.S. competitiveness abroad and empowering other signatories in the same regard—all while failing to provide any tangible environmental benefit in the process.

The Administration, therefore, was correct in describing the Paris Agreement as drafted as a wealth transfer from countries like the United States to the other 194 signatories, wherein the U.S. in acting on its established targets effectively agreed to stifle its own economic activity—and without other countries having to do the same.

The June 1 Press Release included analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, MIT researchers, and peer-reviewed study detailing the severe economic damage to the United States, as well as the ineffectiveness of the Agreement as pertains to environmental concerns.

Read the Congressional Western Caucus’ original June 1 Press Release, including statements by Members, Congressional Research Service analysis of the Accords, and figures from peer-reviewed study HERE.

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