About a dozen states – including Washington, Oregon, California, Minnesota, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – rebelled against President Trump when he withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.
Some of the states already have formed the United States Climate Alliance to uphold the previous U.S. commitment under the international deal that sends hundreds of millions of dollars to developing countries while adhering to strict limitations on emissions.
Likewise, at least 267 mayors and governors have signed an open letter to the “international community and parties to the Paris Agreement” stating their commitment to the Paris climate deal, whether the president supports it or not.
However, now there may be a roadblock.
A report from the Congressional Research Service says the Constitution allows federal law to pre-empt state and local law in a number of areas, including foreign policy.
“Even when there is no actual conflict between state and federal law or policy, the Supreme Court held … that a state law can still be deemed an unconstitutional intrusion into ‘the field of foreign affairs’ if it results in something more than an ‘incidental or indirect effect’ on U.S. Foreign Relations,” the report says.
Trump announced last month that the U.S. was pulling out of the Paris agreement.
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” the president said at the White House’s Rose Garden.
He added that he would be open to a new accord that would be “fair” to the United States.
“We will start to negotiate … and see if we can make a deal that stands.”
The deal, the result of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, would have cost Americans an additional 13 to 20 percent annually for their electricity, according to a recent study by the Heritage Foundation.
It also was projected to cost American families a loss of $20,000 in income by the year 2035, as well as a reduction in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product of $2.5 trillion and 400,000 jobs.
The study found the benefit would have been a reduction of less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius in global temperatures.
According to details released by the White House, the Paris deal would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion over the next few decades.
“It would effectively decapitate our coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power,” the White House said.
Meanwhile, the White House said, China was given a “free pass for years to come,” being allowed to “actually increase emissions until 2030.”
Trump called it a “massive redistribution of United States’ wealth to other countries.”
In the wake of his announcement, many green activists thumbed their nose at the president, announcing they were going ahead with the commitment.
“States, cities, businesses, philanthropies, and universities have vowed to fill the void that the U.S. federal government makes if it departs from the accord or ignores its voluntary targets: a 26 to 28-percent reduction in the country’s carbon emissions by 2025, relative to 2005 levels, and further cuts thereafter,” National Geographic reported. “Already, billionaire philanthropist and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate $15 million to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, in order to help fill any funding gaps created by the Trump administration’s departure.”
It reported that New York, California and Washington were part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, which claims as its goal to uphold U.S. commitments under the Paris deal.
WND’s report on the mayors cites online instructions about how a local government can follow the accord.
The CRS analysis points out that states can cooperate with programs involving foreign governments.
But there are problems, it said, when what states do conflicts with the national policy.
“Some American cities and states have promised to pursue the agreement’s goals even after U.S. withdrawal. But with constitutional limits on the power of states to make legally binding treaties and compacts with foreign nations … and numerous Supreme Court opinions stating that the federal government has superior power over the states in the field of foreign affairs, some commentators have raised the question: does the Constitution allow state and local governments to ‘uphold’ the Paris agreement?” CRS said.
CRS explained the problem isn’t with a nonbinding memorandums of understanding, such as that recently adopted between California and China.
But Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution “places limits on states’ power.”
Clause 1 states: “No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation.” And Clause 3 provides: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power.”
The analysis notes that if an agreement is optional, it likely isn’t a problem. But if it’s binding, there’s a conflict, the analysis said.
“Separate from the limits on states’ efforts to form binding pacts with foreign nations, the Supreme Court has identified restrictions on states’ power to enact legislation that intrudes on the federal government’s ability to conduct foreign relations,” it said.
“The court has held that power over ‘external affairs’ is ‘vested exclusively’ in the federal government. When there is a conflict between state legislation and the foreign affairs policy of the federal government … the court has deemed the state law invalid …”
President Obama signed the deal in September 2016 but never took it to the Senate for ratification.
The goal of the 195-nation deal was to cut carbon emissions that global-warming alarmists say cause global warming, even though there’s been no evidence of global warming for decades.
Supporters of the theory that mankind is catastrophically influencing the climate through so-called greenhouse gases released by the combustion of fossil fuels routinely claim their stance is backed by a scientific consensus. But more than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition stating “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.”
One of the more famous global warming predictions came from former vice president and current carbon-credit entrepreneur Al Gore, who told an audience in a 2009 speech that “the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.”
His 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” famously predicted increasing temperatures would cause earth’s oceans to rise by 20 feet, a claim many scientists say is utterly without rational basis.
Another came from a 2013 column by Mark Hertsgaard, which was headlined “The End of the Arctic? Ocean Could be Ice Free by 2015.”
He wrote: “Say goodbye to polar bears and a whole lot of ice. New research suggests the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free by 2015, with devastating consequences for the world. Can it be stopped?”
Taking one more step back in time, the BBC said Arctic summers would be ice-free by 2013.
Sierra Club Canada also said in 2013 that the Arctic sea ice would vanish that year.
Tim Ball, a former University of Winnipeg climatology professor, said global temperatures have been dropping since the turn of the century, prompting the change in terminology from “global warming” to “climate change.”
Activists are also spending less time discussing temperatures and more time pointing to more extreme events such as tornadoes, droughts, cold snaps and heat waves. Ball said there’s a shred of truth there, but it’s being badly distorted.
“Yes, there’s been slightly more extremes,” he said in an interview with WND and Radio America. “That’s because the jet stream patterns are changing, because the earth is cooling down. All the arguments about sea-level rise, about Arctic ice disappearing, if you recall it’s not that long ago that our friend Al Gore was saying that there would be no summer ice in the Arctic. I think the year he set for it was 2014. That proved to be completely wrong.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Tim Ball:
At the Ron Paul Liberty Report, Chris Rossini said the “alarmism” about “climate change” is reaching “levels of desperation.”
“The arguments go from ridiculous to hysterical. We’re told by many politicians that ‘climate change’ is the #1 threat to Americans. This is of course a favorite of the swindling class. Others tell us that the #1 threat is ISIS, and some are now saying that it’s Donald Trump. Some say it’s North Korea, Russia, or Iran. The carousel of #1 threats is always in motion.”
Rossini continued: “In the media you’ll find stories that free birth control is needed in order to battle climate change, and that climate change will turn women into prostitutes. Non-believers of this ridiculous propaganda are branded as ‘deniers’.
“Even appeals to religion and the afterlife have been showered on Americans. Whether it be comments from the pope, or from Nobel Prize winning ‘economist’ Paul Krugman, who says: ‘You can deny global warming (and may you be punished in the afterlife for doing so – this kind of denial for petty personal or political reasons is an almost inconceivable sin).'”
Rossini wrote, “Boy, do these characters really want Americans to believe the climate change religion.”
Scientist Art Robinson has spearheaded The Petition Project, which has gathered the signatures of at least 31,487 scientists who agree that there is “no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
They say, “Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
Robinson, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California-San Diego, where he served on the faculty, co-founded the Linus Pauling Institute with Nobel-recipient Linus Pauling, where he was president and research professor. He later founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. His son, Noah Robinson, was a key figure in the petition work and has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech.
WND reported when some two-dozen scientists with major U.S. universities urged then-President Obama to use racketeering laws to prosecute opponents who deny mankind is causing catastrophic changes in the climate.
In a letter addressed back then to Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, the scientists said they “appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress.”
“One additional tool – recently proposed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change,” they wrote, according to Politico.
Two years ago, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said legal punishment was the appropriate response to global-warming dissenters.
“I wish there were a law you could punish them with,” he said, launching into a diatribe against philanthropists Charles and David Koch, known for their support of conservative causes.
“I think it’s treason. Do I think the Koch brothers are treasonous – yes, I do. They are enjoying making themselves billionaire[s] by impoverishing the rest of us. Do I think they should be in jail – I think they should be [enduring] three hots and a cot at the Hague with all the other war criminals. Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is [a] criminal offense and they ought to be serving time for it.”