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On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and urge him or her to vote NO on the Climate Action Now Act, H.R. 9. Introduced by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), the bill would require the Trump administration to develop a plan for the United States to meet the carbon emissions reductions agreed to by the Obama administration under the non-binding Paris Agreement. Meeting these reductions would lead to increased electricity costs, reduced gross domestic product (GDP), and fewer jobs.
In December 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached an agreement in Paris, France to reduce carbon emissions. Countries set a “nationally determined contribution” (NDC) for reductions in carbon emissions to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. The Obama administration set an NDC target of reducing carbon emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below the 2005 level by 2025 and officially entered the agreement by executive order, bypassing the treaty approval process, in April 2016.
The impact of the Paris Agreement could have had a negative impact on the United States economy. A study conducted by NERA Economic Consulting estimated that the United States’ NDC under the Paris Agreement could have reduced GDP by $250 billion in 2025 and nearly $3 trillion in 2040. The number of jobs could decline by 2.7 million in 2025 and 31.6 million in 2040. Separately, the Heritage Foundation estimated that household incomes could decline by $20,000 and energy costs would rise by as much as 20 percent.
In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. “The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers...and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production,” President Trump said.
Although Article 28 of the Paris Agreement states that no country can formally withdraw from until three years after it has been in effect for the participating country, FreedomWorks applauded President Trump’s announcement of the intent to withdraw, noting that the Paris Agreement “disproportionately burdens American families and businesses.”
The Paris Agreement may not be the so-called “Green New Deal,” but it will still have a negative impact on our economy if Congress forces the Trump administration to meet the unrealistic NDC target set by the previous administration. At a time when other countries that have signed the Paris Agreement are failing to meet their NDC targets, the United States would undoubtedly be by setting itself back from an economic standpoint, without any meaningful benefits to the climate.
FreedomWorks will count the vote on the Climate Action Now Act, H.R. 9, when calculating our Scorecard for 2019 and reserves the right to score any amendments and weight any votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks