While the Paris agreement was toothless the bite may well come from a pincer movement with domestic laws. Paris was voluntary and non-binding but may be used to provide a means for National laws that are binding to take effect. The laws within each country may have been put into effect earlier with specially prepared clauses that could be triggered or enabled by the Paris agreement.
Strangely Democrat members, elected democratically, don’t appear to have any problem with this. It doesn’t matter if the elected representatives get bypassed, I suppose — the ends justifies the means, the climate needs to be saved, and the voters are stupid.
I am reminded of Al Gore visiting Australia the week before the Senate was doing climate deals with Clive Palmer. Was that a similar strategy — mix and mesh local and international laws to achieve what cannot be achieved in a democracy via the old fashioned way of convincing the voters. Similarly Chiefio and American Thinker were discussing the TPP agreement and how it ominously meshed with the Paris deal too. The implications of that need to be hammered out too. These local laws that depend on international agreements can suddenly empower those benign looking voluntary deals.
Obama’s hidden climate leverage Brian H. Potts
A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states
Here’s how it works: A rarely used provision of the Clean Air Act — Section 115 — gives EPA the authority to mandate that every U.S. state cut its emissions by whatever amount the agency determines is necessary to protect public health and welfare if two things happen.
First, EPA must receive a report or studies from an “international agency” showing that U.S. air pollution is anticipated to endanger public health or welfare in a foreign country. The many reports put out by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change over the past few decades meet this requirement.
Second, EPA must determine that the foreign country harmed by U.S. pollution has given the U.S. “essentially the same rights with respect to the prevention … of air pollution occurring in that country.” In other words, there needs to be reciprocity. That’s where the newly signed Paris agreement becomes important. The Paris agreement satisfies this reciprocity requirement because there are now nearly 190 countries planning to reduce their emissions, at least in part, to protect one another’s health and welfare.
The means justifies the ends…
Through the completion of an international climate deal, this plan would effectively allow the president to sidestep Congress and take full control over each states’ energy sector. It would give the White House enormous power. States’ rights activists would rightly scream bloody murder.
But while these arguments are justified, the fact is that Congress has proved unwilling to address the looming threat of climate change. Section 115 may not be the best way to do that, but right now it’s the only one.
No Brian, Section 115 is not the only way to address climate change. There’s the old fashioned method of persuading the voters…
Read more: politico.com
h/t Chris D