America First Energy Policy
An international deal the Obama Administration and environmental activists joined into has requirements that will cause the United States to voluntarily lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and significantly increase energy costs.
It‚Äôs called the Paris Agreement. Not approved by Congress, no legal ramifications.
Why did the United States enter the agreement?
It surely doesn‚Äôt help put American energy first, make energy more affordable for Americans, or stabilize our power grid.
The agreement is aimed at lowering emissions and limiting climate change to 2¬įC above pre-industrial levels, basically an arbitrary number.
Notably, developed countries like the U.S. are expected to dramatically reduce actual emissions, while developing nations, such as India and China, are asked to lower emissions corresponding with their economic output. In other words, America is asked to kill jobs and risk our power grid stability, even if China and India are contributing more emissions than we are!
A recent report states, ‚ÄúRemaining in the pact commits the U.S. to reducing our carbon emissions by nearly 30% below 2005 levels ‚ÄĒ even though most of the world's major polluters will continue to emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That is why some supporters of the Paris Agreement concede that the gains would be ‚Äėsymbolic.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
It continues citing ‚Äúestimates that, over the next decade, the agreement will cost Americans an extra $30,000 per family of four in higher energy prices and some 400,000 lost jobs.‚ÄĚ
The study compares the Paris Agreement to ‚Äúa $2.5 trillion global tax on American production. So the costs to America would be anything but "symbolic."‚ÄĚ
It would be crushing.
President Trump promised to focus on American energy independence to bring stability to the grid and boost our economy.
At the start of his Administration, he appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy (DOE), both of whom are determined to lead their respective organizations in a new direction. Both appointees are committed to taking bold actions that reflect the will of the American people, and will result in long-term, positive impacts for our country.
Administrator Pruitt is focused on these goals and to achieve them, he has recommended President Trump pull out of the Paris Agreement.
Those who argue to stay are mostly environmental activists who want to defend Obama Administration policies. They defend the $1 billion Obama contributed and the $3 billion Obama pledged to the Paris Agreement. Our commitments to foreign nations should be negotiated for America‚Äôs best interest, not by activists with their own agenda.
Furthermore, staying in the Paris Agreement leaves environmentalists with a defense for the Clean Power Plan or similar detrimental policies. It opens the door to lawsuits from environmental activists to force the EPA to institute policies to meet our commitment. Exiting the agreement makes it clear there is no room for liberal interpretation leading to new regulations. An exit allows the EPA to continue the mission of undoing harmful, costly, and job-killing regulations and continue to work for an America first energy policy.
In efforts to strengthen our power grid at home, in April, Secretary Perry commissioned a 60 day study to address the ‚Äúconcern about how certain policies are affecting, and potentially putting at risk, energy security and reliability.‚ÄĚ
In his memo commissioning the study, he notes the importance of sustaining baseload power. The textbook definition of baseload power is the ‚Äúminimum level of demand on an electrical grid over a span of time. Baseload power sources are power stations which can economically generate the electric power needed to satisfy this minimum demand.‚ÄĚ
We are lucky, in the U.S., to have many sources that can contribute to meeting power needs; like coal, natural gas, wind, hydro, and nuclear. The study will determine how federal policies, regulations, and subsidies have skewed the balance of baseload power. It will examine how this has jeopardized the reliability of the electric grid, affected jobs and economic growth, and possibly threatened our national security. Specifically, DOE will determine if ‚Äúregulatory burdens, as well as mandates and tax and subsidy policies, are responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.‚ÄĚ
Perry concludes the memo by reiterating that ‚Äúthe Trump Administration will be guided by the principles of reliability, resiliency, affordability, and fuel assurance-principles that underpin a thriving economy.‚ÄĚ
I will continue to support these policies of Administrator Pruitt and Secretary Perry ‚Äúto ensure that we provide American families and businesses an electric power system that is technologically advanced, resilient, reliable, and second to none.‚ÄĚ
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office, 276-525-1405, or Christiansburg office, 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.