It has been five years since a historic, brave, scientifically sound decision was announced concerning energy/climate policy. On June 1, 2017, President Trump declared America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. On November 4, 2019, the U.S. formally notified the United Nations of its impending departure, which took effect exactly one year later.
Although President Biden reversed the withdrawal early last year, a powerful precedent was set that will be politically ripe again in two years. The next withdrawal will be less controversial, in fact, given the new energy reality and ongoing global collapse of “Net Zero.”
Trump’s speech on that day made a devastating case the Paris accord was America Last, unjust to global human betterment, and climatically inconsequential. Calling out the bad motives of the energy/economic “obstructionists,” Trump’s decision ranks as a great moment in free-market energy history, ranking with President Reagan’s oil price and allocation decontrol order of January 1981 and President Truman’s abolition of the Petroleum Administration for War in May 1946.
Two quotations from Trump’s speech still ring loud today:
[A]s of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.
The United States, under the Trump administration, will continue to be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth.
True and true. The Green New Deal is dangerous and unachievable—and already prohibitively costly. Today’s high oil prices for transportation and this summer’s developing electricity crises are just a taste of what is to come with further steps down the Net Zero road to serfdom.
Real environmentalism is clean air and water, not arbitrary limits on carbon dioxide and methane emissions. The U.S. has made great progress, and more is possible by redirecting attention and resources from the futile climate crusade to forest management, waste cleanup, and other priorities. Climate policy is the real threat; empowered private actors can capitalize on the good and ameliorate the bad whatever the climate in a free-market, wealth-is-health world.
Trump spoke truth to power in his withdrawal speech (full speech here). Some more highlights follow:
As President, I can put no other consideration before the wellbeing of American citizens. The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.
Not only does this deal subject our citizens to harsh economic restrictions, it fails to live up to our environmental ideals…. I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes … the world’s leader in environmental protection….
We have among the most abundant energy reserves on the planet, sufficient to lift millions of America’s poorest workers out of poverty. Yet, under this agreement, we are effectively putting these reserves under lock and key, taking away the great wealth of our nation — it’s great wealth, it’s phenomenal wealth; not so long ago, we had no idea we had such wealth….
Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree … Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100….
The risks grow as historically these agreements only tend to become more and more ambitious over time. In other words, the Paris framework is a starting point — as bad as it is — not an end point. And exiting the agreement protects the United States from future intrusions on the United States’ sovereignty and massive future legal liability. Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we stay in.
It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — along with many, many other locations within our great country — before Paris, France. It is time to make America great again.
Bravo! And may the next Administration do its best part to demote and defang the Paris Climate Accord, putting the 2015 agreement in the dustbin next to the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.