Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman will always have Paris. United States taxpayers and energy consumers may not. President Trump announced last week the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and "cease all implementation" of the accord.
Pulling us out of this bad deal is good news. As it was negotiated under the prior administration, this agreement imposed a goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions by nearly 30 percent over a decade. The so-called "Obama pledge" accompanied a host of related federal regulations that would have damaged the economy, killed jobs, and driven up energy prices for families across the country.
Sticking with the deal could have cost 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to a National Economic Research Associates study. And the effects would be widespread, including a loss of 440,000 manufacturing jobs, according to NERA's numbers. Meanwhile, according to proponents' own data, the agreement would have no discernible effect on global temperatures.
And the longer the agreement ran, the worse it would get, according to NERA's data. By 2040, production (and thus employment) would be decimated in a host of industries, including a 38 percent cut in iron and steel, 31 percent in natural gas, and 86 percent for coal. At that point, the total economic cost to the U.S. would approach $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product and 6.5 million industrial jobs.
Speaking last week, Trump correctly noted that the damage is not spread evenly across the globe, noting that China and India can proceed with adding coal-fired capacity well into the future. "The agreement doesn't eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States and ships them to foreign countries," he noted.
Other good news from last week is stopping future U.S. payments to the Green Climate Fund, part of what Trump rightly described as "a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries." The federal government has already sent $1 billion of U.S. taxes to prop up energy projects in foreign countries.
Taxpayers and ratepayers have seen firsthand how green energy subsidies fail to deliver on promises of long-term job creation and energy affordability — it makes little sense to repeat these mistakes abroad. The Green Climate Fund is essentially an international version of Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that took $535 million in taxpayer money before going belly-up.
Exiting the agreement means the U.S. can lead with strength in promoting energy and environmental policies, protecting U.S. jobs and easing the costly regulatory burden across the country. Now the Trump administration can push ahead with a plan that conserves the environment while protecting economic competitiveness and promoting affordability and reliability. He should keep these priorities in mind as he engages in future negotiations with international stakeholders on energy and environment policies.
Christine Harbin (@ChrissyHarbin) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is vice president of external affairs for Americans for Prosperity.
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