The reasons why The Trump administration is pulling out of the Paris Agreement makes very little sense upon closer inspection.
Late last week, President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, an international coalition meant to curb carbon emissions and other climate change factors. In the 20+ minute announcement, President Trump had listed numerous reasons. However, none of them were all that convincing…
Reason #1: America withdrew from the Paris Agreement due to President Trump wanting to implement an “America First” policy in pushing and protecting American sovereignty.
The crux of President Trump’s presidential campaign was built on the phrase “putting America first.” Part of that messaging was built on his insistence that multilateral deals with other countries weren’t benefiting America. Last week, President Trump put the Paris Agreement in this category. This is misguided to say the least.
Countries that have signed the Paris Agreement include China, Russia, and North Korea. These three nations have a reputation of being incredibly protective of their sovereign rights and are wary of any multilateral deals with other nations! So with the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement, it joins two other countries in doing so; Nicaragua and Syria. Nicaragua wouldn’t sign on to the international agreement because they wanted to go further in punishing nations that wouldn’t comply with the set standards. As for Syria, they also didn’t sign on to the Paris Agreement, but to be fair… THEY’RE GOING THROUGH A FREAKIN’ CIVIL WAR!!
The truth is, much of the Paris Agreement were primarily voluntary restrictions on reducing carbon emissions with little repercussions in doing so. There’s a reason why nations like China got behind the Paris Agreement; it opened the potential of being in the economic forefront of new energy standards (ie wind, solar energy, ect) while not risking their current energy infrastructures that revolve around fossil fuels. There are very few multinational agreements where economically it creates a foothold to cultivate new industry while not risking current systems that are relied upon.
The Paris Agreement was one of those international deals.
Reason #2: With the US signing on to the Paris Agreement, it would have killed current energy sectors that the US currently relies on. Or in other words, it would kill current energy jobs (ie coal industry jobs), causing job loss to the American people.
Coal's demise is less Paris and more Tulsa and Fargo — fracking
— Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNPR) June 1, 2017
Out of all the statements President Trump made regarding the energy industry and the environment, he was right about one thing.
The coal industry in the US is dying.
However, climate change policies like the Paris Agreement isn’t what killed the coal industry. Cheap natural gas did.
For years now, the coal industry in the US has been shrinking at an astonishing clip. Currently the fast food chain Arby’s employs more individuals than the entire coal industry! Economically speaking, US coal isn’t the energy powerhouse as it once was over a generation ago. A big reason for this has to do with many energy sectors transitioning to the more lucrative natural gas industry.
Unlike renewable energy solutions like solar and wind energy, natural gas has proven to be abundant (and more importantly cheap) energy source that has surpassed coal as a “firm energy” replacement in the US. While companies should focus on renewable energy being their future – natural gas is still a fossil fuel after all – they only make up a small portion of the US’ energy reserves. In the US, the coal industries days are outnumbered, but saying it’s because of climate change policies is giving environmental policies too much credit.
Reason #3: People in the US aren’t behind climate change initiatives. By the US bowing out of the Paris Agreement, the Trump administration is only representing the will of the people.
If Trump is pulling out of Paris, he is turning his back on the public in every single US state. pic.twitter.com/OueA4HsqkW
— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) May 31, 2017
We’re just sayin’.
(Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)