Whether or not Donald Trump was serious when he threatened to “cancel” the United Nations climate agreement negotiated in Paris last year, the White House appears to be taking the threat very seriously. According to media reports and statements by senior Obama “climate” officials, the administration is hard at work “Trump-proofing” the controversial global-warming pact. Regardless of the efforts, though, a President Trump could easily kill the UN scheme — especially because it is not even legally valid, since Obama has not presented it to the U.S. Senate for ratification as required for all treaties by the U.S. Constitution.
In a series of statements about the Paris Agreement, as the UN climate deal is known, Trump has indicated that, if and when he becomes president, the expensive scheme is toast. In fact, in a speech he gave in late May about energy policy, Trump blasted the “draconian climate rules” and vowed to “cancel” the pseudo-treaty as soon as he takes office. America should never give “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use,” the GOP contender declared, promising to eliminate all U.S. taxpayer funding for UN “global warming” schemes. In the past, echoing numerous top scientists, Trump has repeatedly lambasted the increasingly discredited man-made global-warming theory as a “hoax.”
Blasting the EPA's “totalitarian tactics,” Trump also promised to undo all of the Obama administration's decrees on the subject — everything from executive orders purporting to regulate the gas of life (CO2) to Obama's so-called “Clean Power Plan.” Because all of those actions are already unconstitutional and illegal, destroying them would be beyond easy. As The New American has documented, even when the Democrats controlled Congress it would not approve Obama's climate agenda, meaning the White House had to impose all of its pledges made to the UN via executive decrees and regulations. That means the entire foundation of the UN's climate regime is built on lies, fraud, and quicksand, as far as the United States is concerned.
Trump has also taken aim at the primary tools Obama is abusing to impose his unconstitutional “climate” regime on the American people. Earlier this year, for example, the GOP candidate even called for dismantling the increasingly radical EPA, which was created by disgraced President Richard Nixon via executive order. “Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely,” Trump explained in his energy speech last month. “We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns.” He called the “climate” schemes “death by a 1,000 cuts over regulations.”
Instead of Obama's “war on energy,” as critics have called it, Trump vowed to do basically the opposite. Among other policies, he promised to reduce restrictions on energy exploration, open more “federal land” up for drilling, and even pursue the Keystone XL pipeline quashed by the Obama administration. “The government should not pick winners and losers” in energy, he explained, calling for subsidies to cronies under the guise of “green energy” to be scrapped. “We're going to save that coal industry, believe me, we're going to save it,” Trump continued in the May 26 speech, vowing to lift draconian federal restrictions and regulations. “Market forces are beautiful.”
Last week, though, Politico ran a factually challenged, deeply misleading article claiming that the Obama administration was “Trump-proofing” the UN climate schemes. In the report, Politico reporter Anne Usher falsely gave the impression that the deal was practically set in stone. “Trump can’t just wave a wand and pull the United States out of the Paris treaty,” she claimed, falsely. Of course, in the real world, the Paris Agreement is not a treaty, as it has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate, which the Constitution requires for all treaties. Since there is no treaty, there are no legal obligations on the United States. Trump does not even need to wave a hand to stop the illegal acts.
Usher continues by claiming falsely that, “to leave [the UN climate regime] officially would require the United States to first wait three years, and then give a one-year notice — effectively putting a withdrawal beyond the next presidential election.” In the real world, again, that is not true either. The Paris Agreement remains invalid, as it was never ratified. And even if it had been ratified, America's Founders and the Supreme Court have always been clear that treaties cannot grant new powers to the federal government beyond those delegated to it in the Constitution. Authority for the regulatory schemes envisioned in the UN deal — federal and global restrictions on energy use, for example — is not granted in the Constitution, and therefore would require a constitutional amendment.
However, that does not mean Obama is not trying to drown America in illegal regulations as quickly as possible. According to Usher, “the administration is working hard to flood hundreds of other environmental rules — many aimed at Paris-targeted carbon emissions — through the regulatory pipeline, from chemicals to phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).” She also cited Energy Department regulations and a “little-known” international “protocol” to limit “pollutants.” But again, all of those can be easily undone by Congress, a President Trump, the courts, or other centers of power in the U.S. political system. To her credit, Usher does admit that the courts could kill the schemes, citing, among other possibilities, a lawsuit from 29 states against Obama's decrees.
A number of pseudo-environmentalists and extremists purport to give cover to the Politico article's errors. For instance, Alden Meyer, “director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists,” was quoted as saying that: “The real risk is not that Trump would pull out of the treaty—but that he would not take the measures to meet the target that Obama committed us to.” Obama cannot “commit” anyone to anything without constitutional authority, and as Obama himself admits, the UN scheme is not a treaty. Meyer also made absurd claims pretending the UN climate regime was “unstoppable,” which is of course preposterous. The courts could stop it, Congress could stop it, state legislatures using nullification could stop it, and Trump could stop it.
Obama officials, both current and former, also tried to give the same impression of inevitability. “We’re all in. We’re moving down this road,” claimed Obama's “climate envoy” Jonathan Pershing, who Politico said was “rushing” to “Trump-proof” Obama's illegal commitment to the UN climate schemes. At least Pershing, though, said that the real obstacle is not an imaginary “treaty,” but what he claimed was the “tide of opinion.” He also pointed to support from Big Business to argue that Obama's lawless decrees were here to stay. Some of the more odd comments quoted in the report suggested that CO2 emissions are dropping on their own, so the Paris targets will be met no matter what Trump does. But if that were the case, it would be hard to explain why the administration would be trying to “Trump-proof” the schemes.
While Obama administration officials were trying to give the impression that the UN pseudo-treaty is set in stone, the former chief of “climate” schemes for Obama admitted that was not true in a piece for the Washington Post. “Leaders of more than 190 nations endorsed the agreement,” claimed Obama's previous “climate envoy,” Todd Stern, conflating nations with the governments and dictators that rule them. “The United States has no power to cancel it. This isn't reality TV. You can't tell sovereign leaders around the world, 'You're fired,' and you can't tell them a multilateral agreement they just entered is canceled.”
However, right after that, Stern admitted that Trump could indeed follow through on his campaign pledge. “Of course Trump could, in theory, pull the United States out of the Paris regime, but that would be stunningly misguided,” Stern said. “During the course of this century, climate change, with the impacts it produces — such as severe droughts and floods, extreme heat, massive wildfires, rising sea levels and super storms — has more capacity to disrupt life as we know it and to threaten both human welfare and national security than any other issue, save nuclear conflict.” So in other words, Trump could do exactly what he said, but notoriously embarrassing prophecies of climate doom that always fail would make it “stunningly misguided.” Politico did not bother to quote that part, presumably because it would have undermined the bogus premise of the story.
A Pew poll showed that just four in ten Americans believed in man-made global warming in recent years. Unfortunately for climate realists and anyone concerned with prosperity or legitimate governance, however, Trump campaign officials have reportedly walked back some of Trump's tough talk on quashing the Paris regime. According to the Politico report, which again was very misleading, Trump's new “energy czar,” Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, “was notably noncommittal” when he was asked if the GOP presidential candidate would really “cancel” the UN climate scheme. “I think you might see him pivot away” from those pledges, Cramer was quoted as telling Politico. In other words, Trump may just be trying to energize supporters. However, considering the accuracy problems in the rest of the Politico piece, that is not certain.
Americans should pursue all avenues to quash the illegal agreement negotiated by Obama and the dictators club known as the UN. Trump could certainly kill it on his own, but Americans should work with their representatives in Congress and state legislatures to ensure that, regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, the UN scheme is crushed. U.S. independence, liberty, self-government, and prosperity may depend on it.
Photo of Donald Trump: AP Images
(The New American never endorses candidates. Our purpose is to inform the electorate and enable them to draw their own conclusions.)