by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In recent weeks the Trump administration has intimated that it may abandon one of the president’s most important campaign promises, which is to withdraw America from the deeply-flawed Paris Climate Agreement.
Donald Trump assured voters that he would put America and American workers first. But the 2016 Paris Agreement is essentially an agreement to put hundreds of thousands of middle-class American workers in coal, steel production, oil and gas, construction and manufacturing into unemployment lines.
Remaining in the pact commits the U.S. to reducing our carbon emissions by nearly 30% below 2005 levels — even though most of the world’s major polluters will continue to emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That is why some supporters of the Paris Agreement concede that the gains would be “symbolic.”
Our Heritage Foundation colleague Nick Loris estimates that, over the next decade, the agreement will cost Americans an extra $30,000 per family of four in higher energy prices) and some 400,000 lost jobs (200,000 in manufacturing alone). He likens the Paris Agreement to a $2.5 trillion global tax on American production. So the costs to America would be anything but “symbolic.”
The Paris Agreement would effectively decapitate our coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power. If Trump allows this deal to go forward, he will unwittingly fulfill Hillary Clinton’s arrogant and dastardly promise to put every coal miner in America out of a job.