Speaking to the Greeneville, Tenn., Kiwanis Club last week, Sen. Bob Corker appears to be taking credit for pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement — or at least, having a significant role:
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman said he first approached the accords as as an understanding between countries that had no binding obligations — financial or otherwise — to the U.S.
“With all the complex issues we’ve got to deal with around the world, wouldn’t it be better to stay in concert with our allies — and some of our adversaries — because we’ve got other issues … we’ve got to work out?” Corker theorized.
What he said he did not consider at the time but has come to weigh is the legal snarl the accords could create.
If environmental groups chose to sue power plants coming online in the U.S. on the grounds that they would impede the country’s progress in meeting the accords, it could result in a years-long legal battle up to the Supreme Court, Corker said.
And although he said environmentalists probably wouldn’t win in court, he said it could delay or deter jobs.
“It could be very detrimental to employment here in the United States of America,” he said. “The best outcome would be some way … to say, ‘Hey, look. The goals that we’ve taken on are far more penalizing to our citizens than what other countries have done. Probably the best outcome would be to figure out a way to signal that you want to change the declarations that we’ve made, because they’re overly aggressive.”
Got that? Corker advised Trump to pull out of the Paris Accords because he was afraid the Sierra Club and Greenpeace would sue.
That has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard. In essence, Corker told the Greeneville, Tennessee Kiwanis that a handful of jobs in a dying industry are more important than maintaining our role as a technology leader and keeping from blowing up the planet.
Again: that is dumbest thing I have ever heard.
I’m curious how many U.S. power plants “coming online” in the next few months violate the Paris terms in the first place? Can anyone tell me? I don’t know, so I’m asking. Just from my cursory Google search it appears there are more natural gas and renewable power plants coming online than dirty coal-fired plants. But I’m just a dumb housewife with a search engine so what do I know.
Someone in the “real journalism” business should find out. And sorry, Greeneville Sun, but as this was the lead story of the week you really should have asked that question. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that Corker has no fucking clue.