A major House GOP leader accused the Obama administration Tuesday of covertly executing the U.S.-China climate agreement under the shroud of the Labor Day weekend.
Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith told reporters that President Barack Obama’s decision to ratify the climate agreement Saturday in China was a strategic move to stifle public scrutiny. The decision to join the climate agreement was based on “science fiction,” not solid science, Smith said, adding that forging it without the consent of Congress is “all pain and no gain.”
“In committing the United States to the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement, the president is wrongly trying to make law by his own executive action,” Smith said. “His agreement bypasses Congress, puts our nation at an economic disadvantage and imposes undue and unsustainable burdens on American families.”
Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping ratified the global climate deal in China as United Nations President Ban Ki-moon presided over the signing. The meeting, conducted in Hangzhou, China, ensures the two largest economies officially move forward on promises hashed out during the December Paris agreement.
The deal was signed by most of the 196 original signatories but only requires 55 countries and 55 percent of the world’s carbon emitters to ratify in order for enforcement measures to be effective.
Smith’s criticisms mirrored those made by energy analysts prior to Obama-Jinping meeting.
Others agree with Smith’s assessment of Obama’s actions. It’s an “absolute disgrace” for Obama to ink the deal without consent from Congress, Jay Lehr, science director at the free-market think tank The Heartland Institute, told reporters before Obama signed the agreement.
In addition to constitutional considerations, Smith also said the agreement would not appreciably do anything to ratchet down global carbon emissions.
“The president’s costly environmental regulations would only reduce global temperatures by just three one-hundredths of a degree Celsius, and sea level rise by the thickness of three sheets of paper,” said Smith, who chairs the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
“The president’s Paris pledge will increase electricity costs, ration energy and slow economic growth. Congress has repeatedly rejected the president’s extreme climate agenda,” Smith said in a press statement in February. “The president’s climate pledge is a bad deal for the American economy, the American people and would produce no substantive environmental benefits.”
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