Christi Gibson, June 2, 2017

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord undoubtedly puts the interests of American workers first. From the beginning, the agreement clearly undermined U.S. competitiveness and jobs, extracted meaningless commitments from the world’s top polluters, accomplished little for the climate, and basically funded a UN Climate Slush Fund underwritten by American taxpayers.

The Obama-negotiated deal threatened competitiveness and jobs in the United States. According to a study by NERA Consulting, meeting the Obama Administration’s requirements in the Paris Accord would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion over the next several decades. By 2040, our economy would lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs, including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs. And it would have effectively decapitated the coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power. President Trump reiterated the U.S. has enough energy reserves to lift millions of America’s poorest workers out of poverty, yet under this agreement, effectively putting these reserves under lock and key-taking away the great wealth of our nation and leaving millions of families trapped in poverty and joblessness.

The Paris Accord imposed unrealistic targets on the U.S., while giving other countries a free pass for years to come. For example, under the agreement, China could increase emissions for the next 13 years. And India made its participation contingent on receiving billions in foreign aid from developed countries. As President Trump stated, “the agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

The American taxpayers were forced to fund this poorly-negotiated agreement by the Obama Administration. President Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (30% of the original funding) without the authorization from Congress. And with a $20 trillion national debt, the U.S. taxpayers should have never been expected to subsidize other countries’ energy needs. And as President Trump stated in his address, “It would once have been unthinkable that an international agreement could prevent the United States from conducting its own domestic economic affairs; but this is the new reality we face if we do not leave the agreement and negotiate a better deal.”

The poorly negotiated agreement also did little to protect the environment and our earth. According to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be poor. The impacts have been estimated to be likely to reduce a global temperature rise by less than 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Since the Paris Climate Accord frontloads costs onto the American people to the detriment of our economy and job growth, extracts meaningless commitments from the world’s top global emitters and accomplishes little for the climate in our world, I stand in agreement with President Trump, who remains committed to putting America first. As he stated in his address, “As President, I have one obligation: and that obligation is to the American people. The Paris Accord would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risks, and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world. It is time to exit the Paris Accord, and pursue a new deal that protects the environment, our companies, our citizens, and our country.”