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June 15, 2017

Inhofe Speaks on Senate Floor In Support of Decision to Withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, spoke on the Senate floor today on why he supports President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. 

floor speech 6.15

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Remarks as prepared for delivery

Mr. President, I come to the floor today to highlight the importance of the decision the president made to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

I have said before, and will say again, that yes, the climate is changing. We all know and can see this. But, it has been changing for a lot longer than the last few decades.  

Did man cause the Ice Age or any of the other extreme weather patterns that the Earth has seen even just over the last few thousand years? Absolutely not. 

Earlier this year, a climate change study was released that found that, “Little agreement is found with climate model simulations that consistently overestimate recent summer warming and underestimate pre-industrial temperature changes.” 

It is no surprise to me that they found forecasts to be inaccurate. According to the environmentalists, every summer is going to be the hottest. And it doesn’t help that scientists continue to overestimate these predictions. 

In one of the charts from the study that I have here, it maps temperatures from 1186-2014, you can see the variation. 

Essentially, the findings of this study show that the climate patterns we see now are not significant in the grand scheme of things and that this has happened before. 

People like to vilify those of us who talk about this subject and openly question the inaccurate statements and so-called findings of fear-mongering scientists who tell everyone the world is ending and everything is going to keep getting hotter and hotter. 

They think just because many of us recognize that the science is not settled and we question exactly how much man affects climate change, corruption must be involved; that we must be funded by groups telling us to think that way. 

This is simply not true. 

To question the idea that man is single-handedly responsible for changes in climate and that doomsday is near due to the fact that we burn fossil fuels is entirely appropriate and frankly it’s necessary. 

One of these well-known climate fanatics is a scientist named Michael Mann. 

He is the one who came up with the infamous hockey stick graph in 1998, which was an attempt to show that the Earth has been cooling over the last few hundred years and all of a sudden in the 20th century, the temperature rapidly increased and is predicted to continue doing so. 

It is an understatement to say that Mann’s predictions were off. Nevertheless, it was the image of this graph, along with Al Gore’s conspiracy theory, that the media used as the tool to promote the hoax of strictly man-made global warming. 

In fact, to give you an example of how wrong the hockey stick graph is, just a few days ago that yet another climate change research exploration in Canada was postponed because so much ice is in the Arctic, and it is unusual for this time of year. 

Before the research team could embark on their exploration to study climate change, their ship, the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCSG Amundsen, had to be borrowed by the Canadian Coast Guard for search and rescue efforts to help fishing boats and supply ships that were trapped in the unexpected, large amounts of ice. 

And this is at least the fourth time this has happened in recent years to research ships around the world setting out to study climate change. 

There was a situation when the researchers were unable to get out of the ice for almost two weeks in Antarctica. 

In December 2013, a Russian ship carrying climate scientists, journalists, tourists and an entire crew became trapped in ice that was at least 10 feet thick. An Australian icebreaker arrived six days later to rescue them, but was unable to due to dangerous weather conditions. 

A few days after that a Chinese icebreaker sent out a helicopter that was able to airlift 52 of the passengers from the Russian ship to safety onto the Australian icebreaker.

Unfortunately, during this rescue effort, the Chinese icebreaker became trapped as well. 

In early January 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker called Polar Star was called to assist and rescue the two ships stuck in Antarctica. 

That reminds me—in 2007 Al Gore claimed that the Northwest Passage would be clear and all the ice would melt by 2013. That claim could not have been farther from the truth and all of these ships getting stuck in ice proves that. 

Most of the predictions that have been published over the last few decades have been wildly inaccurate, but most have been accepted by environmentalist groups because they are maintaining their war on fossil fuels even though Trump has ended it. 

By using fear-mongering techniques, environmentalists and the Al Gore fan club can easily convince a large amount of people that regulatory burdens, like the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the Quad-O-A and the venting and flaring rules, and the Waters of the United States rule, are a good thing and can save the Earth without any consideration of the effect these rules will have on energy consumers and jobs. 

The Clean Power Plan, for one, would have ended up being a waste of $300 billion of the American peoples’ money. Venting and Flaring and Quad-O-A would have pushed that higher.  

But now we are actively working to fix the problems inherited from the previous Administration. 

For the past eight years under the Obama administration, the American economy suffered under the effects of his climate agenda. 

That era is over, and President Trump has been delivering on his campaign promises since he was sworn in. And the strongest signal of this was President Trump’s decision to pullout from the Paris Climate Agreement.  

It was actually just a few short weeks ago that I was here on the Senate floor urging President Trump to pull out of the Paris Agreement. 

That same day, I and 21 of my Senate colleagues sent a letter to the White House with that same request.  

Our message resonated with the president and it was clear that our voices were heard because it was exactly one later President Trump announced to the world he was getting the United States out of a bad deal—the Paris Agreement. 

I am grateful to President Trump for that important decision, and I know many of my colleagues are as well.  

Like the signees of the letter, President Trump is committed to removing regulatory burdens that harm businesses here in America. 

Removing ourselves from the Paris agreement brings us one step closer to removing more harmful Obama-era regulations and commitments. 

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris demonstrates what I have said since the Obama administration negotiated our commitments: the Paris Climate Agreement is nothing but empty promises. 

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 demonstrates that this certainly was the case.  

I commend President Trump on this decision and think it was the right choice, especially since America still has a seat at the table, despite what some might think. 

Many of them believe that we will now lose our ability to negotiate with other nations and vocalize our concerns. This is simply not true and I cannot emphasize it enough. 

The Agreement that gave us a seat at the table has already been ratified by the United States—meaning the Senate gave its advice and consent. 

It is known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

This is the 1992 treaty that supports all of the big parties that are held every December in exotic locations around the world. 

The UNFCCC was the foundation of the Paris Agreement, and the foundation for the Copenhagen discussions back in 2009 where I was a one-man truth squad. 

Most importantly, the UNFCCC is also the foundation of the Kyoto Protocol that was created in 1997. 

This was the first agreement that sought to set binding international greenhouse gas regulations. The Senate demonstrated its intent to defeat that with the Byrd-Hagel resolution, which passed 95–0. Though President Clinton signed the agreement, he never sent it to the Senate for consideration because he knew it would fail miserably. 

Looking back at the outcome of the Kyoto Protocol, we knew the Paris Agreement was doomed to fail. 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. 

So although President Trump removed the United States as a signatory to the Paris Agreement, we continue to have a seat at the table. And, the president will have the ability to negotiate future deals if that is what he feels is best for America. 

Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement is a great example of how President Trump continues to fulfill his campaign promise of ending the undeserving war on fossil fuels without a risk of further future litigation mandating the EPA to establish new greenhouse gas regulations. 

Because we are no longer part of the agreement, we are also no longer putting ourselves at significant litigation risk. 

As I have said here before, the agreement would commit the United States to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions by 26–28 percent by 2025. 

That means environmentalists would be able to use the agreement as a justification to sue the EPA and force it to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act. 

Section 115 of the Clean Air Act is triggered when a country asserts that our pollution is harming them, establishing and when there is a reciprocity agreement between our countries to conduct regulation. Environmentalists were already claiming that Paris met the requirement. 

So it is not hard to see that had we stayed in the agreement, the environmentalists would have worked hard to dismantle President Trump and Administrator Pruitt’s ability to dismantle the Clean Power Plan.

It is about time that we make progress that will help advance energy dominance in the United States. 

Moving forward in this Congress, I hope we are able to keep this momentum up and I will continue to work with President Trump to roll back the burdensome regulations that harm so many industries. 

As my final thought, I would like to once again thank President Trump in pulling out of the Paris Agreement. It was the right decision and it will, without question, help the United States in the long run.

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