THE FOCUS (2/16/2021)
The Paris Disagreement
Joe Biden rejoined the Agreement that may not actually be what the American people and economy want and require
Since taking office Jan. 20, Biden has announced a slew of policies, including executive actions to immediately take effect and legislative proposals.
By his third day in office, Biden took three major actions that “will devastate our economy at a time when we’re already on the brink of recession,” said Alfredo Ortiz, president of the Job Creators Network, a small-business advocacy group.
Ortiz was referring to Biden’s canceling of the Keystone XL pipeline, rejoining the Paris climate agreement, and an executive order requiring a $15 an hour minimum wage for federal contractors.
“America’s job creators can lead America’s recovery, but we can’t afford the Biden administration’s left-wing agenda,” Ortiz told The Daily Signal in a statement. “The American people want pro-growth policies and a return to prosperity, not socialism and a deep, long-lasting recession.”
Here’s a look at the impact Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on US jobs and the economy.
Paris Climate Accord and 3.1 Million Jobs
According to a report from The Heritage Foundation, the energy regulations accepted by the Obama administration as part of the accord could kill 400,000 American jobs by 2035.
“Based on regulations and emissions-reduction targets set by the Obama administration, Heritage economists estimate that by 2035 there will be: an annual average loss of nearly 400,000 jobs, a total income loss of more than $20,000 for a family of four, and an aggregate [gross domestic product] loss of over $2.5 trillion—all for a few tenths of a degree Celsius in abated warming,” the April 2016 Heritage report said.
A May 2017 report estimated the terms of the climate agreement could cause 440,000 jobs lost by 2025 and 3.1 million by 2040. The study done by the National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting was funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Council for Capital Formation.
“A restriction in carbon emissions means that the total cost of fossil fuel increases, leading to higher costs of production. This cost increase leads to the closing of facilities that cannot compete on a cost basis. The increasing stringency of the [greenhouse gas] policy leads to more closure of manufacturing sectors over time, leading to fewer manufacturing jobs,” the report says.
In 2025, the manufacturing sector alone could potentially lose 440,000 job-equivalents relative to the baseline jobs and about 3.1 million in 2040. Taking into account the loss in employment in other non-manufacturing sectors, the job-equivalents impact for the overall industrial sector could be about 1.1 million job-equivalents in 2025 and 6.5 million in 2040.
A large share of this job loss occurs in the construction sector, which employs a significant portion of the overall industrial labor force. Total economy-wide employment losses amount to about 2.7 million jobs in 2025.
The full article can be read here
A Gift to China
Federal action to reduce the world growth of carbon emissions, particularly action as ineffective as that embodied in the Paris accord, should not be taken at the expense of U.S. citizens in relation to foreigners. Yet that is exactly what an immediate return to the Paris accord means. It commits the United States to reductions that will entangle American businesses and jobs in new lengths of red tape, and will also probably increase electricity prices.
Supporters of the Paris climate accord underplay or ignore these concerns. But it is a simple fact that renewable energy mandates have driven up household energy bills in states where they have been introduced. Democrats like to boast that they are lifting up struggling families, but this first step in their energy policies does nothing of the kind. Republicans should scrutinize Biden's energy policies closely.
America has already reduced its carbon emissions significantly since the Paris accord was signed and has outstripped the achievements of its closest allies, which, on carbon emissions, mostly preach but do not practice. No international climate accord can work unless it considers seriously the emissions of the rapidly growing East. The Paris accord does nothing of the sort.
India emits roughly half as much carbon each year as the U.S. but will become a far worse polluter as its economy grows. China, which emits twice as much carbon each year as we do, has given the rest of the world nothing by empty promises and has been allowed to continue emitting greenhouse gases unabated.
Chinese dictator Xi Jinping says China will be carbon neutral by 2060. He is willing to discuss doing more in furtherance of what China calls "win-win" cooperation with the world. Yet there is a great divergence between Xi's sweet words and what China's communist-run government is actually doing — that is, bringing online hundreds of new and very dirty coal plants.
As Reuters reported last June, "China has nearly 250 gigawatts of coal-fired power now under development, more than the entire coal power capacity of the United States ... casting doubt on the country’s commitments to cutting fossil fuel use."
"Casting doubt" is a generous and unserious way of putting it.
Biden rightly values our alliances and international cooperation. Still, a president's first obligation must always be to serve his own country. That obligation must come ahead of Biden's interest in winning progressive plaudits early in his term. As he is briefed on new intelligence evidence of China's carbon deceptions, Biden should reassess whether the Paris accord is fit for the purpose.
Full article can be read here.
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