If the Paris Climate Accord was such a great deal for the United States, why did President Barack Obama not submit it to the Senate for treaty ratification after signing onto it with considerable fanfare on Sept. 3?
Could it have been because Obama knew that the accord was so poorly negotiated, so costly and destructive to the U.S. economy, that he knew it stood no chance of winning the needed 67 votes, two-thirds of the Senate, for ratification?
Its dim prospects in the Senate might have been a consideration in the decision Thursday by President Trump to pull the U.S. out of the climate-change pact, which stood no better chance of Senate ratification than the predecessor Kyoto Protocol did nearly two decades ago.
The Clinton administration signed onto Kyoto in November 1998, but never submitted it to the Senate for ratification. That's probably because, 16 months earlier in July 1997, the Senate passed a pre-emptive resolution that the U.S. should not sign any agreement that didn't include binding targets for developing nations or that was thought to seriously harm the U.S. economy.
The resolution passed the Senate with unprecedented bipartisan unanimity 95-0.
Many of the same flaws and shortcomings that doomed Kyoto were just as damning of the Paris pact, which would have committed the U.S. to reducing carbon emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
Trump did the right thing in making good on his campaign promise to pull the plug on it, ignoring the apocalyptic rhetoric of the radical environmental lobby and its water carriers in the media.
The Paris pact would have disproportionately burdened U.S. families and businesses relative to developing nations, such as China and India. And to what end? According to researchers at MIT, even if all the signatories met their obligations (highly unlikely), it would reduce global temperature rise by less than 0.2 of a degree Celsius.
What it would undoubtedly do, however, is saddle the U.S. economy, job creators and consumers with enormous costs. According to a study by National Economic Research Associates consulting, compliance with the Paris pact would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion over the next few decades.
It was further estimated that by 2040, it would have caused the loss of 6.5 million high-paying industrial-sector jobs.
It also would have sounded the death knell of the coal industry, with which we still generate one-third of our electricity. The Heritage Foundation estimated that it would have increased electricity costs by between 13 percent and 20 percent annually for a family of four and caused them a loss of income of $20,000 by 2035.
Trump didn't campaign on a pledge to make America poor again.
Finally, the Paris pact is not necessary to achieve reduction of carbon pollution. American innovators have developed new ways to produce energy that have significantly reduced emissions of all forms and simultaneously turned the U.S. into a leading energy producer and exporter.
Moreover, studies have repeatedly shown that the most-free countries are the wealthiest, and that wealthiest countries are the cleanest.
Unleashing the economy will better solve any environmental problems than an international agreement that shackles U.S. industries while letting huge polluters like China and India off the hook. (Under the pact, China would actually be allowed to increase its emissions until 2030.)
With its $100 billion annual U.N. Green Climate slush fund, the Paris accord was a thinly disguised international income-redistribution scheme, and like Obama's infamous Iran nuclear deal, it was not in our country's best interest.
Adam Brandon (@adam_brandon) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is president and CEO of FreedomWorks.
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