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 Obama-created 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.
• 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.
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