Following a successful international tour and the G-7 Summit in Italy, President Trump has an opportunity to relieve our nation of the unfair and economically devastating requirements of the Paris Agreement, the United Nations climate treaty he pledged to rip up during the campaign.
And as soon as possible, President Trump should act on — and keep — his campaign promise.
According to a recent National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting study, the Paris Agreement could obliterate $3 trillion of GDP, 6.5 million industrial sector jobs and $7,000 in per capita household income from the American economy by 2040. Meeting the 2025 emissions reduction target alone could subtract $250 billion from our GDP and eliminate 2.7 million jobs. The cement, iron and steel, and petroleum refining industries could see their production cut by 21% 19%, and 11% respectively.
Not only would these unfair standards reduce American job growth and wages and increase monthly utility costs for hardworking families, they would fundamentally disadvantage the United States in the global economy. The result: our economic output would lag while other countries continued to expand their GDPs.
We cannot pursue a path that puts American workers first if we cripple a fossil fuel energy sector that generates 82% of the energy consumed in the United States. The coal industry alone supplies almost one-third of America’s electric power — with an increasing amount of clean coal-burning technology becoming available.
America is poised to become a net energy exporter over the next decade. We should not abandon that progress at the cost of weakening our energy renaissance and crippling economic growth.
We simply cannot afford an agreement that puts thousands of Americans out of work, increases their energy costs and devastates our core industries.
In return for crippling our economy, the Paris Agreement would do next to nothing to impact global temperatures. Under the EPA’s own models, if all carbon emissions in America were basically eliminated, global temperatures would only decrease by less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius.
While the agreement would have a negligible impact on temperatures, America would be putting itself at a competitive disadvantage. That’s because while the Obama administration irresponsibly committed America to immediate, real cuts in emissions, our global economic competitors would have no such handicap. In fact, Russia is permitted to increase its emissions approximately 50% and China and India have no meaningful cap on emissions until 2030.
The Paris Agreement would also handicap America in the global race for new sources of energy. Russia has committed financial and military assets to the Arctic to stake its claim to the region’s vast deepwater mineral, oil and gas deposits. China is also exploring and trading for Arctic oil and gas. Meanwhile, American liquefied natural gas struggles with logistical costs that weaken its competitiveness.
By allowing our rivals to increase their cooperation and strategic leverage around the world — pressuring our allies and partners, harming domestic job creators and materially reducing our prestige and influence in the process — the agreement would damage America’s national security as much as our economic security. The emission cuts that the US would have to make today, and the resultant costs for our own energy firms, would weaken our ability to battle our rivals on an equal footing in the drive for untapped energy sources.
Efforts to unwind some of the deal’s more onerous regulations are welcomed, but that is not enough. Unless the US completely withdraws, the Paris Agreement will continue to cause sustained harm to our security and economy, and it keeps the door open for future administrations to use it as means to impose more costly and ineffective energy regulations.
We should not let a deal subject to the whims of future administrations or Congresses hang like a wet blanket over our economy — driving up energy prices, devastating our industrial base and bolstering our rivals.
I hope President Trump will take the opportunity before him to fulfill the commitment he made and withdraw America from the Paris Agreement.
Ted Cruz For CNN.