By Rep. Greg Chaney
President Trump this week sent shock-waves through domestic and international politics when he announced he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Instantly, liberals in America and around the globe went into overdrive criticizing the move. While I’m happy to debate the validity of environmental alarmist claims, today I focus on the inherent lack of logic behind any claims that the Paris deal benefited anyone other than those looking to undermine American economic prosperity.
Bad for the American Worker
It’s clear that the agreement was bad for American jobs. We’re already among the cleaner industrialized countries and the commitments the Paris agreement bound us to would not only require American industry to utilize the greenest and newest technologies (which, by and large, they already are); it would require the invention of newer technologies based on theories that may not be possible.
How is that? We’ve committed to a specific improvement–irrespective of where we already are. Sector by sector, American industry is already using the best that today’s science can provide them. It’s much easier to ask a country that’s stuck in 1950’s industrial methods to lean up than it is to place that burden on the United States in 2017. Requiring tomorrow’s efficiency on American industry today is much akin to going back in time and telling Henry Ford in 1910 that if he couldn’t meet a 30 mpg threshold, you were shutting him down. The effect will be more lost jobs.
The United States did the environment a favor by withdrawing from the Paris agreement. When regulation chokes out an industry in the United States, the consumers worldwide don’t simply decide to go without the product. So what happens?
Those factories are rebuilt overseas, and those jobs go with them. They are built in places like China and India–nations where the industries are far more free to pollute. Shutting down an American factory feeds the industrial machines in Asia that are pumping out pollutants at a far higher rate than back home. The net result is more pollution in the atmosphere.
Hypocrisy in High Places
There is no net global environmental benefit from the United States’ involvement. The only benefit is to those competing economically with the U.S. In this light, the biggest critics of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the climate agreement are predictable–mainly from the European Union, the only conglomeration of industrialized countries with the economic potential to give America a run for its money.
How are they doing?
Think that maybe, considering the moral indignation shown by leaders of nations such as Germany, France, and Canada, that we should listen to their concerns? Clearly, such criticism could only come from those who have it all figured out better than we do!
Think again. According to a recent study by the World Health Organization (an organization liberals typically have no problem citing), these nations are in no place to judge. (See chart starting on page 63 of their Report). According to the report, annually air pollution accounts for 12 deaths per 100,000 citizens in the United States whereas France is nearly 50% higher (17/100K), Canada is more than double (25/100k), and Germany is nearly 3 times the rate (33/100k). These nations (economic competitors) favor shipping more manufacturing to places like India (49 pollution related deaths per 100,000 citizens) and China (a staggering 76 deaths annually per 100,000 citizens).
The motive behind this can’t conceivably be the environment, it’s profit. Many of these nations have been riding the U.S.’s economic coat-tails for decades, and Trump’s message that we’re going to start standing up for ourselves has them worried. China is already Germany’s number one trading partner, and talks are heating up over increasing EU trade with India.
After a century of the United States standing up for Europe, our old allies have a couple of new best friends (China and India); and they intend to help them out at our expense.