Paris Climate Agreement Will Follow Kyoto Protocol to the Ash Heap of History

If the Paris Climate Accord was such a great deal for the United States, why did President Barack Obama not submit it to the Senate for treaty ratification after signing onto it with considerable fanfare on Sept. 3?

Could it have been because Obama knew that the accord was so poorly negotiated, so costly and destructive to the U.S. economy, that he knew it stood no chance of winning the needed 67 votes, two-thirds of the Senate, for ratification?

Its dim prospects in the Senate might have been a consideration in the decision Thursday by President Trump to pull the U.S. out of the climate-change pact, which stood no better chance of Senate ratification than the predecessor Kyoto Protocol did nearly two decades ago.

The Clinton administration signed onto Kyoto in November 1998, but never submitted it to the Senate for ratification. That’s probably because, 16 months earlier in July 1997, the Senate passed a pre-emptive resolution that the U.S. should not sign any agreement that didn’t include binding targets for developing nations or that was thought to seriously harm the U.S. economy.