WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee, today praised President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement demonstrates what I have said since the Obama administration negotiated our commitments: the Paris Climate Agreement is nothing but empty promises,” Inhofe said. “I warned international representatives from around the globe that without Senate ratification our commitment to Paris would only last as long as Obama was president. Our withdrawal today demonstrates that this certainly was the case.
“The President’s decision again proves that this administration is prioritizing the bottom line of hard-working Americans over the agendas of environmental extremists. Trump made this commitment clear with his Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth executive order that begins to unwind the Clean Power Plan – which would have been the primary component of our commitments to the Paris Agreement.
“Looking back at the outcome of the Kyoto Protocol, we know that the Paris Agreement was doomed to fail,” Inhofe continued. “Nearly half of the 37 countries that ratified and became legally bound to the agreement have failed to meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets, without a single sanction administered as a result. The Paris Agreement, which is contingent on voluntary actions from 196 countries, will be no more successful.
“I applaud President Trump’s decision to pull out from the Paris Climate Agreement and look forward to continuing to work with him on America’s path towards energy independence.”
- On June 1, Inhofe authored a USA Today op-ed Donald Trump Can Strengthen America by dumping Paris Agreement.
- On May 25, Inhofe led a group of 22 Senators in urging President Trump to withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement or risk his domestic energy agenda. Later that day he elaborated that message on the Senate floor.
- On March 28, Inhofe applauded Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order, which begins to unwind the Clean Power Plan—President Obama’s hallmark climate program implemented to comply with the Paris Agreement.
- On Nov. 3, 2016, Inhofe led 13 Senators in sending a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the administration’s candidness with the international community regarding the durability of the commitments made on behalf of the United States under the Paris Agreement.
- On May 13, 2016, Inhofe and Sens. Vitter (R-La.) and Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced a bill to prohibit funding for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its related entities after accepting the “State of Palestine” as a full member.
- On April 21, 2016, the day that the Paris Agreement was signed, Inhofe released a white paper entitled: Lessons From Kyoto: Paris Agreement Will Fail National Economies and the Climate. He also authored a New York post op-ed released that day entitled: Earth Day marks the composting of the global climate deal. Earlier that month he spoke on the Senate floor on the empty promises of the Paris Agreement.
- On Jan. 25, 2016, Inhofe authored a Washington Examiner op-ed Why the Paris Climate Agreement will fail.
- On Nov. 19, 2015, Inhofe and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and their colleagues sent a letter to the president encouraging U.S. negotiators to be forthcoming to foreign counterparts of Congress’s role over the Green Climate Fund and any binding agreement.
- On Nov. 18, 2015, Inhofe held an EPW hearing entitled: Examining the International Climate Negotiations. During the hearing Hofstra University Professor of Law, Julian Ku, testified that the president could not legally bind the United States to make emission reduction targets through a sole executive agreement and that any attempt to suggest otherwise could result in “misleading foreign governments” or “violat[ing] the Constitution.” Oren Cass, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute highlighted how the UN negotiations ultimately are an attempt to redistribute developed countries cash in the form of “climate finance,” which the U.S. congress can “strongly resist.” Mr. Stephen Eule, vice president of Climate and Technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy, revealed that other countries’ INDCs are nothing more than business as usual since developing countries have a much greater interest in “pursing economic growth and poverty eradication than … reducing GHG emissions.”
- On July 8, 2015, Inhofe held an EPW hearing entitled: Road to Paris: Examining the President’s International Climate Agenda and Implications for Domestic Environmental Policy. During the hearing David Bookbinder, former Sierra Club chief climate counsel, testified before the U.S. Senate EPW Committee, that the president’s goal would fall dramatically short of meeting the president’s target to cut emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Even the minority witness from the World Resources Institute admitted that additional actions would have to take place, which former EPA Air Administrator, Jeff Holmstead suggested would likely come through “a greater regulatory burden on rural America” in the form of agriculture and other industrial regulations.
- Also on July 8, 2015, Inhofe led ten Senators in a letter to President Obama requesting a detailed response for how the U.S. will plan to meet a pledge of 26-28 percent emissions reduction by 2025, as represented by the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted to the UNFCCC.