President Obama appears ready to bind the U.S. to the UN climate pact that was negotiated in Paris last year, and do so without submitting it to the Senate for ratification.
This is outrageous.
The Washington Times reports, “it would surprise no one if Mr. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping were to announce the ratification of the sweeping climate change agreement before the Sunday opening of the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang.
“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.’”
Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution clearly states, “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.”
The leaders of other nations, including the French hosts of the UN conference that put forth the climate agreement, have repeatedly stated their opinion that what they created is a binding treaty. This would subject it to Senate ratification, which the President knows he could not obtain.
Many observe that if the treaty is nonbinding a future administration can undo it.
However, if subsequent presidents continue the radical restructuring of the U.S. energy economy begun under Obama, it will be very difficult for a future president, with better understanding of energy and climate issues, to restart cold electricity plants or undo the web of subsidies currently being erected.
The Senate should closely study this UN pact, defend its constitutional prerogatives, and refuse to abide by or fund any provision of what is almost certainly a full-blown treaty.
Shame on the President for, once again, over-stepping his authority.