How Team Trump plans to kill Obama’s Paris climate deal by declaring it a treaty 

Posted: April 28, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, Legal, Politics

Signatories (light green) and parties (orange) to the Paris Agreement [credit: Wikipedia]

H/T GWPF / Washington Times

It may be a bit of a legal minefield but it would put an extra element of democracy into the current situation.

As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed.

The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact.

Mr. Trump’s principal advisers are slated to meet Thursday to hash out a final set of recommendations for the president, with several deadlines looming next month.

At an initial meeting of top staffers Tuesday, several memos and letters that were circulated laid out the options, including the treaty proposal put forth by Christopher C. Horner and Marlo Lewis Jr., senior fellows at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Under their vision, Mr. Trump could toss out Mr. Obama’s decision that the Paris accord was an executive agreement, declare it a treaty and send it to the Senate, where it would need a two-thirds vote for ratification.

Given Republican control of the chamber, the agreement’s opponents say senators would either shelve the deal or outright defeat it. Either option would derail the deal, the memo suggested. “That option affirms that we are a nation of laws, not men and, importantly, discourages both our negotiating partners and future U.S. officials against attempting to circumvent our system,” the memo says.

A briefing paper circulated among Republican senators this week said the deal should have been sent to Capitol Hill by Mr. Obama, but he “knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent.”

Supporters of the Paris accord have their own memo drafted by lawyers in the State Department. That memo says that by sending the agreement to the Senate, the president would be giving up important powers and leave Mr. Trump and his successors open to congressional meddling. “Because the large majority of international agreements concluded by the United States are concluded as executive agreements, this could have far-reaching implications for our conduct of foreign affairs,” the State Department document says.

The Paris agreement is the main international vehicle for trying to combat climate change. Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to the deal in 2015 but never submitted it for ratification, saying it was an extension of a U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the Senate ratified in 1992.

The State Department memo says there are few risks to remaining part of the Paris deal. It says the “legal obligations are relatively few and are generally process-oriented [and] discretionary in their application or repeat existing obligations already contained in the Framework Convention.”

Michael McKenna, a Republican energy strategist, said anything short of withdrawal would leave the U.S. open to legal challenges, with judges potentially attempting to enforce strict climate limits based on the commitments. “The president is being asked to travel a path that leads him — ultimately — to continue the Obama administration policies on climate change,” said Mr. McKenna, who has authored his own memo calling for withdrawal. He blamed Obama administration “holdovers” at the State Department for trying to preserve their former boss’ plans.

Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The former president tried to enforce the commitment through a series of executive and administration actions, imposing tight limits on power plants and auto emissions. Federal courts have halted some of those plans, and Mr. Trump and Congress have nixed others, easing the pressure on American industry.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump also pledged to cancel the Paris deal.

Continued here.

  1. If Mr Trump sends the Paris Treaty to the Senate, it’s dead.

  2. oldbrew says:

    The options seem to be: abide by it, kill it, or muddle through somehow (ignore it).

  3. spetzer86 says:

    Kill it, burn it, bury it, stomp on its grave

  4. craigm350 says:

    The only humane thing to do is let it die.

  5. oldbrew says:

    What they don’t want – presumably – is to be dragged through the courts and worse still, lose the case.

  6. gregole says:

    This might be a good way to deal with it – if it goes to the US Senate, it’s dead-on-arrival; and Trump gets to dodge the hipster, progressive, ignoramus attacks that would inevitably follow. They will instead be directed at a larger group, in this case the Senate Republicans, who will be vilified as evil selfish craven etc…Maybe the progressive, leftist opposition will protest dressed as vaginas. Maybe the progressive, leftist opposition will protest by beating innocent people, and by burning and destroying public and private property. At the mid-terms; I can assure you, the democrats are going to be destroyed if the left keeps up with its vulgarity, ignorance, and violence. Interesting times.

  7. oldbrew says:

    gregole says: ‘the democrats are going to be destroyed if…’

    Are they becoming the tantrum party?

  8. oldbrew says:

    Date: 30/04/17

    In a campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania, a state that helped tip the election in his favor, Trump said the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is “one sided.”

    “I will be making a big decision on the Paris accord over the next two weeks and we will see what happens,” he said in his speech to mark the first 100 days of his presidency.

    “…like the one-sided Paris climate accord. Where the US pays billions of dollars (for the Paris Climate Accord) while China, Russia, and India have contributed (to pollution) and will contribute nothing,” Trump alleged as the audience booed to the Paris Agreement.

  9. oldbrew says:

    People’s Climate March on Saturday…through Snow
    April 28th, 2017 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    US forecast: Temperatures will range from 40 deg. F below normal to 27 deg. F above normal [At the same latitude, at the same time.] This is what’s called “weather”.
    . . .
    So, one is left to wonder, what are the real reasons for these marches?