Tag Archives: Paris Accords

U.S. refuses to sign G7 statement supporting Paris climate accord

In another indication that the Trump administration is going to completely reshape the U.S.’s environmental policy, Energy Secretary Rick Perry refused to sign a statement issued during the G7 meeting in Italy endorsing the Paris climate treaty.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said the U.S. “is in the process of reviewing many of its policies and reserves its position on this issue, which will be communicated at a future date,” Italy’s industry and energy minister Carlo Calenda said in a statement. Calenda said other G7 members “reaffirmed their commitment towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement to effectively limit the increase in global temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial level.”

The Trump administration would not sign onto a statement mentioning Paris, since the president is still deciding whether or not to keep his campaign pledge. Perry also wanted the G7 to include support for coal and natural gas in its statement. “Therefore, we believe it is wise for countries to use and pursue highly efficient energy resources,” Perry said in a statement after his meeting in Rome with energy ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union.

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Obama to ratify Paris climate treaty, bypassing Senate

The Constitution is such an inconvenient thing: The Obama administration is claiming that, should Obama sign the Paris climate accords when he visits China next week, it will be sufficient to make it law, even though it will not have been approved by a two-thirds majority in the Senate as required by the Constitution.

White House senior adviser Brian Deese said the president has the legal authority to ratify the accord without the two-thirds Senate vote required for treaties. He said the pact negotiated by 195 countries in December is merely an “executive agreement. … The president will use his authority that has been used in dozens of executive agreements in the past to join and formally deposit our instrument of acceptance, and therefore put our country as a party to the Paris Agreement,” Mr. Deese said at a White House press conference. “That’s a process that is quite well-established in our existing legal system and in the context of international agreements and international arrangements,” Mr. Deese said. “There is a category of them that are treaties that require advice and consent from the Senate, but there’s a broad category of executive agreements where the executive can enter into those agreements without that advice and consent.”

Gee, I wonder what clause in the Constitution Mr. Deese can name that delineates the President’s power to sign and make binding “executive agreements” with foreign powers? My copy of the Constitution doesn’t seem to have any such clause. What it does say about foreign treaties is quite clear and blunt: The President “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.” (Article 2, Section 2).

But then, when has the law ever really meant anything to this President and the modern Democratic Party? In fact, it means so little to them that they have nominated a candidate for President who willfully ignores it, and then lies about that lawbreaking repeatedly.

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