Precisely as he promised he would, President Trump announced in May of 2017 that the U.S. was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said at the time. We’ve seen some interesting reactions come from that – call them secondary symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Almost immediately, there were calls for federalism, states rights, and even secession – and all this from the left! Now in control of the House, the Democrats seem to be suffering another flair-up. The result? H.R.9 – Climate Action Now Act.
An Act of Defiance
House Democrats have managed to pass a bill that would “direct the President to develop a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement.” Introduced March 27, Rep. Kathy Castor’s (D-FL) call to action garnered the support of 224 co-sponsors before being passed May 2, with a 231 to 190 vote. As one might imagine, this fell almost entirely along party lines. Not a single Democrat went against the bill – though three Republicans supported it.
Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) have all been quite vocal in supporting the Paris Climate Accord since President Trump first mentioned pulling out. Rep. Buchanan explained his reasons for this vote in a press release:
“Climate change is a serious threat to the Suncoast and the rest of Florida, which has two coastlines vulnerable to rising waters,” Buchanan said. “Environmental protection and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. We should be doing everything possible to accomplish both.”
A Fool’s Errand
But this act of defiance has little hope of going anywhere beyond the House. Assume for a moment that this bill somehow makes it through the Senate: The president would simply veto it. And if 228 Democrats and three Republicans – just shy of 55% of the voting representatives – are all they can muster, any hope of overriding that veto dies before even leaving the House, never mind the Senate. This bill was doomed never to make law – but far worse, it is entirely unnecessary. Even if man-made climate change will be the end of us all – and that’s a fact far from settled – the Paris Climate Accord doesn’t solve the problem.
As pointed out in the very same press release: “Buchanan was one of three Republicans to vote for the measure, which keeps the United States in the voluntary and non-binding agreement.” Voluntary and non-binding: That means, of course, that none of the nations that sign the accord are actually bound to follow it!
If the leaders of every other U.N. recognized nation on Earth believe that something needs to be done about Carbon emissions, then they don’t need U.S. tax dollars to make it happen. Climate doomsayers are quite fond of pointing out that China and the U.S. are the top two emitters in the world – but then fail to disclose that China dumps about twice as much carbon as the U.S. and that they alone account for about 30% of the world’s emissions. Also not often admitted by climate activists is the fact that the U.S. leads the world in cutting carbon emissions – a fact that was true before the U.S. signed the Paris Climate Accord. And if we can do it alone, so can the other top polluters.
A Blessing in Disguise
But while advancing this act is a fool’s errand for the Democrats, it’s a blessing in disguise for the rest of us. With folks they like to call – rather ironically – science deniers sitting in the White House and holding a majority in the Senate, bills such as this are doomed. Some might read this and become furious with the Democrats. How dare they waste taxpayer dollars and time?
But that’s the wrong attitude for a conservative or libertarian to hold. It’s a travesty that these people get to fund their paychecks by fleecing ours. But let’s face it: We aren’t getting rid of them any time soon. Every moment they spend bickering with each other is a moment they aren’t cooperating to grow the government or infringe our liberties. Though there are some notable exceptions – especially in the first year of Trump’s presidency – most bills actually signed into law do more harm than good. The danger isn’t Congress’s failure to legislate – it’s their success.
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