While the Obama administration trumpets a “historic” agreement on carbon emissions with China, a leading climate expert says the U.S. economy would have to collapse to comply with the terms of the deal, but President Obama’s main goal is to make it difficult for the next president, Congress and the courts to strike down his many environmental regulations.
While in China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an agreement that would have the U.S. reducing its carbon emissions between 26 and 28 percent from 2005 levels. The Chinese, meanwhile, vowed to try to peak their emissions by 2030 and attempt to get 20 percent of their energy from “zero carbon emission sources” by that same time.
As the deal was announced, Obama’s Twitter account stated: “This is huge: The United States and China have just agreed on an ambitious new joint plan to cut carbon pollution.”
Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Christopher Horner said the deal means business as usual for China but would force the U.S. to make draconian changes over the next decade.
“It promised massive reductions, which nobody knows how you could get to, barring serious economic collapse on the part of the U.S. This is even after the hydro-fracking boom. Even assuming you kill coal dead, nobody knows how you get to where he’s talking about, which of course will be someone else’s problem,” Horner said. “You sort of want to be on the other side of the negotiating table from people who view things like this as victories. It was hardly that.”
Christopher Horner believes handcuffing the next president is Obama’s real motivation here.
“What he’s seeking to do is bind the next president and the next president’s (Environmental Protection Agency), this Congress and the courts to say, ‘You know what? You really can’t undo my EPA rules. They’re now part of something larger. They’re embedded in a promise to the world, and I’d like the courts to recognize that,’” Horner explained. “While it sounds crazy, it’s called customary international law, and there’s always a chance.”
Previous attempts to commit the U.S. to reduced carbon were soundly rejected in the 1990s, when the Clinton administration embraced the Kyoto Accords, but the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a non-binding vote warning Clinton and then-Vice President Al Gore that any such deal would be dead on arrival.
Written by GREG COROMBOS
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