Inhofe Statement on U.S., China Announcement on Paris Agreement
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released a statement on the anticipated announcement that the U.S. and China will officially joined the final Conference of Parties (COP21) climate agreement pursuant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):
“History already shows that this Paris Agreement will fail. Half of the countries that were legally bound to the Kyoto Protocol treaty failed to adhere to their pledges, and the host country of Japan even increased their carbon emissions. Now we find ourselves celebrating an agreement where the world’s largest carbon emitter, China, is permitted to increase their emissions until 2025 and to continue bringing a coal-fired power plant online every 10 days. We even turn a blind eye to the fact that China lied about its carbon emissions when it first came to the table with its pledge last year. It’s no wonder Americans will never support this deal, especially when our president promises unrealistic and economically harmful emission reductions of up to 28 percent that will send more jobs overseas and reduce our global competitiveness in the marketplace. This latest announcement is the president attempting to once again give the international community the appearance that he can go around Congress in order to achieve his unpopular and widely rejected climate agenda for his legacy. The Senate does not support the Paris Agreement, which is why his administration prefers to not call it a treaty, and the centerpiece of the president’s emission reduction commitments, the Clean Power Plan, is on shaky legal ground, which the United States Supreme Court recently affirmed. Furthermore, environmental groups and industry agree that the U.S. commitments made under the Paris Agreement cannot be met with regulations and would require legislation from Congress that will never pass.”
On April 21, 2016, the EPW Majority released a white paper assessing the failed 1997 Kyoto Protocol treaty, providing insight to how the Paris Agreement will unfold.
On April 21, 2016, Inhofe had an op-ed published with the New York Post called, “Earth Day Marks the Composting of the Global Climate Deal.”
On Jan. 25, 2016, Inhofe had an op-ed published with the Washington Examiner called, “Why the Paris Climate Agreement will Fail.”
On Dec. 1, 2015, the EPW Majority released a white paper providing the first comprehensive account of the Senate’s legislative and oversight efforts during the 114th Congress to set the record straight on the Obama administration’s misguided climate agenda in the context of historical international agreements and negotiations leading up to the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) pursuant to the UNFCCC in Paris, France from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2015.
On Nov. 30, 2015, Inhofe had an op-ed published with CNN called, “Beware of Empty Climate Promises.”
On Nov. 19, 2015, Inhofe and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of the Senate with regard to any agreement reached at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties pursuant to the UNFCCC held this December. The purpose of the resolution is to further inform the international community of the U.S. Senate’s respective role.
On Nov. 19, 2015, Inhofe and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and their colleagues sent a letter to the president encouraging U.S. negotiators to be forthcoming to foreign counterparts of Congress’s role over the Green Climate Fund and any binding agreement.
On Nov. 18, 2015, Hofstra University Professor of Law, Julian Ku, testified that the president could not legally bind the United States to make emission reduction targets through a sole executive agreement and that any attempt to suggest otherwise could result in “misleading foreign governments” or “violat[ing] the Constitution.” Oren Cass, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute highlighted how the UN negotiations ultimately are an attempt to redistribute developed countries cash in the form of “climate finance,” which the U.S. congress can “strongly resist.” Mr. Stephen Eule, vice president of Climate and Technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy, revealed that other countries’ INDCs are nothing more than business as usual since developing countries have a much greater interest in “pursing economic growth and poverty eradication than … reducing GHG emissions.”
On Nov. 17, 2015, the U.S. Senate voted to disapprove of President Obama’s signature legacy regulation on global warming in S.J.Res. 23 and S.J.Res. 24. S.J.Res. 23 was introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and S.J.Res. 24 was introduced by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
On July 8, 2015, Mr. David Bookbinder, former Sierra Club chief climate counsel, testified before the U.S. Senate EPW Committee, that the president’s goal would fall dramatically short of meeting the president’s target to cut emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Even the minority witness from the World Resources Institute admitted that additional actions would have to take place, which former EPA Air Administrator, Jeff Holmstead suggested would likely come through “a greater regulatory burden on rural America” in the form of agriculture and other industrial regulations.
On July 8, 2015, Inhofe led ten Senators in a letter to President Obama requesting a detailed response for how the U.S. will plan to meet a pledge of 26-28 percent emissions reduction by 2025, as represented by the INDC submitted to the UNFCCC. Senators are still awaiting the president’s response.
On Feb. 2, 2015,Inhofe released a statement on the president’s budget proposal, in which Inhofe said, “I will not support any special funds, including the $500 million for the Green Climate Fund, to further [the president’s] climate agenda that is eroding states’ rights and making it unnecessarily difficult to do business in America.”