Friday, June 2, 2017

Opting Out

President Trump has fulfilled a campaign promise by opting out of the Paris climate change accord to which President Obama committed us. The accord would have cost the U.S. taxpayers dearly over the next couple of decades as Reagan McCarthy at explains:
According to a study conducted by the National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting, the deal would cut 6.5 million industrial sector jobs, eliminate $3 trillion in potential GDP and eradicate $7,000 in household income, per capita, all by 2040.

The deal would not raise wages or contribute to job growth; it would also cut jobs in the long-term. Worst of all, the deal would be detrimental to the American economy on a global level. The rest of the United Nations would continue to expand their economic output while that of the United States decreased dramatically. The Heritage Foundation reports that by 2035, the loss in gross domestic product would be as high as 2.5 trillion. The American worker does not benefit from increased electricity costs, job losses, lost income or decreasing GDP. The agreement also does not make America energy independent, but rather puts the country at the will of United Nations bureaucrats.
All of this maight have seemed a sacrifice worth making if it could expected to do some good, but if what Rich Lowry wrote prior to Mr. Trump announcing his decision, is correct the cost borne by Americans would accomplish almost nothing in terms of environmental protection:
No U.S. interest is served by remaining part of the accord, which even its supporters say is mostly an exercise in window dressing — that is, when they aren’t insisting that the fate of the planet depends on it. The treaty’s advocates, hoping to forestall a Trump exit, are trying to save the accord by arguing that it is largely meaningless. In this spirit, a piece in the liberal website Vox explained, the Paris accord “asks participants only to state what they are willing to do and to account for what they’ve done. It is, in a word, voluntary.”

In other words, “Nothing to see here, just us climate-change alarmists playing pretend.” And there is indeed much to be said for the worthlessness of Paris. Beijing pledges that China’s emissions will “peak around 2030.” By one estimate, this is when its emissions would peak regardless. So the world’s largest emitter is using the accord as a platform for climate virtue-signaling. According to Benjamin Zycher of the American Enterprise Institute, even if Paris is fully implemented and you accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s model for how emissions affect warming, it will produce a rounding error’s worth of decline in the global temperature by 2100 — .17 of a degree Celsius.
The shrewdest option, Lowry suggests, would have been for the president to have submitted the agreement to the Senate for ratification, where it certainly would have been rejected:
President Barack Obama pretended that the treaty was an executive agreement — even though it involves 195 countries, and purports to bind future U.S. presidents — precisely so he could do an end run around the Senate. Honoring the Senate’s constitutional role in considering such a treaty would make it that much harder for the next Democratic president simply to sign on again unilaterally. Failing that, Trump should say farewell to Paris on his own, and never look back.
Well, that's what he did.

Next up is the decision whether to remain wedded to the Iran nuclear accord. Mr. Trump will announce his decision in July and would do well to walk away from that boondoggle as well. The Iran deal was also designed by Mr. Obama to circumvent the constitutional prerogative of the Senate to ratify treaties while at the same time binding future administrations to its terms, many of which were concealed from the American public.

Fred Fleitz at NRO urges President Trump to abandon both the Paris and Iran deals, not just because they're weak agreements that endanger U.S. security and economy, but also because they represent unconstitutional abuses of presidential power by President Obama.

As Fleitz notes, congressional Democrats and the mainstream media would never have allowed a Republican president to get away with similar abuses.