CAGW Asks President Trump to Submit the Paris Climate Accord to the Senate for Ratification | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Asks President Trump to Submit the Paris Climate Accord to the Senate for Ratification

Letters to Officials

December 10, 2020

The Honorable Donald Trump
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Mr. President,

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and its more than 1 million members and supporters were pleased when you withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord on June 1, 2017.  I proudly attended the Rose Garden announcement ceremony, along with leaders from other like-minded organizations that had opposed entering the expensive and detrimental agreement.  You were correct then and are still correct when you said, “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 — who I love — and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”

If Joe Biden is sworn in as President on January 20, 2021, he has made it clear that one of the first actions he will take is to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.  He clearly disagrees with your accurate assessment that being part of the Accord would lead to “a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries” and our nation would be “at grave risk of brownouts and blackouts, our businesses will come to a halt in many cases, and the American family will suffer the consequences in the form of lost jobs and a very diminished quality of life.”  This is already happening in California, where its green energy policies are causing a failing electrical grid leading to brownouts and blackouts.

CAGW has made the argument since November 2016 that the Paris Climate Accord is a treaty and should be treated as such, as it has legal requirements that affects the entire country, requires the U.S. to provide billions of dollars for a Green Climate Fund, and is an official and intricate document.  We stated at that time that President Obama never presented the agreement to the Senate was because he knew there would not be enough votes for ratification.  Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had warned world leaders months before the vote to adopt the December 2015 agreement that President Obama was not following proper treaty procedures and they should not rely on the United States to follow through on the agreement because it was not legally binding.

On May 8, 2017, CAGW signed a coalition letter, led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, urging you to “submit the Paris Climate Treaty to the Senate for its advice and consent with a recommendation that the treaty not be ratified.  Submitting the treaty to the Senate would return us to and restore the proper constitutional method for treaty-making and require a future administration to go through proper procedures if it were to attempt to rejoin the treaty.”

In a November 29, 2020 Wall Street Journal OpEd, Publisher Steven Malloy, who served on your Environmental Protection Agency transition team, wrote that if Joe Biden should  live up to his promise to have the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Accord,  doing so would not make it legally binding, but an environmental group could decide to find a friendly federal court to produce a legal result.  To prevent such an occurrence, he also urged you to submit the Climate Accord to the Senate and ask Leader McConnell for a quick vote on ratification.  The treaty would be rejected since there is not a two-thirds vote for approval, and it is “unlikely any court could subsequently resurrect a legislatively tossed treaty.  Without the help of judges, Mr. Biden would need a winning ratification vote to make the accord binding, which he likely couldn’t get no matter how well Democrats do in Georgia’s January runoffs and the 2022 midterm elections.”

Patrick Michaels, Ph.D, a CEI fellow and a well-known climatologist, wrote in the November 19, 2020 Washington Examiner that if you submitted the Climate Accord to the Senate and ratification fails, it would act as an insurance policy should Joe Biden be sworn in as president. As a result, the U.S. would face a new climate target to reduce emissions.  No doubt, the administration would be sued by a party, likely a fracking state, for the harm that would be done by the Accord.  The case would work its way up to the Supreme Court, which seems likely to nullify it.  After all, Dr. Michaels pointed out,  when President Obama submitted his Clean Energy Power Plan before a less conservative Supreme Court in 2016, it was put on hold because it was “an executive order so sweeping that it overstepped executive bounds.” 

Submitting the Paris Climate Accord before the Senate for ratification and having it fail would be a legacy that would help the United States maintain its energy independence and protect millions of jobs that Americans depend on well into the future.

Thank you for your consideration,


Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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