Monday, June 5, 2017


Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, was interviewed about Trump's decision on the Paris Accords. These are some excerpts:

Re: legal vulnerability (the Americans being vulnerable to domestic climate activists was a question I had not considered):
You know, that this idea that somehow that it was just simply not enforceable, or not something that really could be enforced domestically, and that’s just simply not the case. I mean, when you look at our Clean Air Act, China and India don’t face what we do domestically. What we face domestically was you know, with the Paris Agreement in place, are 26-28% targets with all of the previous actions by the previous administration, the climate action agenda, the Clean Power Plan and the rest, still fell 40% short of those 26-28% targets. And so we were vulnerable to an action by an environmental group here domestically to sue under the Clean Air Act, specifically Section 115 of the Clean Air Act, to compel regulatory response. I mean, this was a legal evaluation as much as anything to make sure that our agenda wouldn’t be hijacked or dominated by some sort of litigation post-staying in Paris. So this was a very important decision across the board. But part of the decision, in fact, a major part of the decision was the legal vulnerabilities.

Re: the process of ratification (I do not think the Europeans understand this):
We know that the individuals of Paris negotiating for the United States and also those in attendance on behalf of other countries, walked up to the very line. They did all that they could to create what would be constituted a treaty, but then called it something else. And they did that, because they knew they couldn’t get it ratified in the U.S. Senate. And that’s just a bad way to do business. I mean, when you have decisions being made in Paris that impact the cost of electricity in this country, or a contraction of the power grid, or you’re taking fossil fuels, natural gas or coal off the power grid, those types of things, voters ought to have a voice in that process, and that’s what the U.S. Senate and Constitutional protections are intended to address.

On the income shifts:
....if every nation that signed up for Paris met all of the commitments that they put as part of that agreement, by the year 2100, the temperature would be reduced all of two-tenths of one degree Celsius. And for what cost,....? I mean, in this country, it was a $2.5 trillion dollar cost for gross domestic product. I mean, this was a bad business deal both on advancing environmental objectives, but also the cost that it took domestically while the rest of the world skated. China and India took no steps to meet their obligations until 2030. In fact, India qualified any steps on receiving $2.5 trillion dollars of aid through the Green Climate Fund.......why wouldn’t you want the United States in this deal if you’re the rest of the world? I mean, one, you’re extracting billions of dollars in aid. India is taking no steps. I mean, we’re subsidizing their manufacturing base. And they’re taking no steps to reduce their CO2 emissions. I mean, under the deal, China is continuing to build coal generation facilities, and 365 or so, I can’t remember the exact number, but and I think 800 plants. You know, under the deal, Russia came in and said yes, we’ll agree to target reductions, but we’re going to use a baseline of 1990. And so they had like 20-plus percent reductions, but they baseline it in 1990. Our baseline was 2006, which is, I think, after all some of the progress we had made with respect to reducing CO2 emissions. So it was a much greater hit on our economy versus Russia, and obviously China and India. And this was a bad deal for this country.

On his own position:
The climate is changing. The climate has warmed. Human activity contributes to it. How much human activity has contributed to it is difficult to measure with precision. But we have processes that have to be followed. We have innovation technology that can achieve good outcomes in CO2 reduction. You know, there’s a term that I’ve been using here of late. You know, they like to throw out climate denier and those types of things, which I don’t even understand what that means, honestly. But there are climate exaggerators in the marketplace. And there are people that take data that we know, and they stretch it so far that it becomes incredible, and people don’t believe it....[in]....   the New York Times paper, about a month ago... [t]here was an op-ed called Climate of Complete Certainty where the person writing the op-ed said exactly that, that the politicians have taken scientific data and stretched it so far that the American people don’t have confidence or trust that they can rely upon the information. So what we need is truth.

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