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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to Trump Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

June 1, 2017

"It’s been a long time since we had a president who cared as much about real science, energy policy, and the importance of economic growth" - Joseph Bast


President Donald Trump today announced the United States has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, which committed the country to cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The Heartland Institute has been opposing this global accord since hosting a counter-conference at COP-21 in Paris in December 2015, when it was negotiated.

To see the extent of Heartland’s work in opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement visit this webpage.

The following statements from environment and energy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“Today, President Trump announced the complete withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Accord. He gets it, totally. It’s been a long time since we had a president who cared as much about real science, energy policy, and the importance of economic growth.”

Joseph Bast
The Heartland Institute

“God bless President Trump for this courageous step to make America great again and to advance the America First Energy Plan. If new discussions go forward in Paris, the president must ensure no tariffs are allowed on our oil, LNG, and coal exports. The world needs our fossil fuels, and there are billions of people on Earth without energy. Let’s make sure we do well at home while doing good abroad.”

Fred Palmer
Senior Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute

“President Trump is a breath of fresh air in the White House, a president whose primary mission is to promote the interests of America as a country, and the aspirations of the American people as individuals. The Paris Climate Agreement did nothing to promote a better environment but was a bad deal for American industry and workers – putting us at a competitive disadvantage with our geopolitical and economic competitors around the globe. Trump rightly recognized that hampering domestic fossil fuel use and production is a recipe for economic decline. Good riddance to a bad treaty!”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

“Trump’s bold decision is making the climate cultists on the environmental left go more berserk than usual. But even if every country that has signed on to Paris were to behave exactly as instructed by United Nations’ bureaucrats, the difference in global temperatures 100 years hence would still be a rounding error.

“Ideally, Trump could have submitted what was really a treaty to the United States Senate – where it had no chance of passing. Even better, the president could have announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which underlies all these job-killing, wealth-redistribution schemes. Perhaps that’s for Trump’s second term.

“For now, we’ll have to settle for knowing we’ll never have Paris.”

Jim Lakely
Director of Communications
The Heartland Institute

“Thankfully, President Trump has decided to keep the pledge he made to the American people during the campaign to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and spare them from its enormous compliance costs. The treaty sought emissions reductions from the United States that are incompatible with economic growth and job creation and would have burdened the American people with even more taxes, regulations, and subsidies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

“By stepping out of the Paris agreement, the U.S. will no longer be in a position of having our wealth redistributed to the rest of the world. The gravy train has stopped.

“Today we move on with the winning – stopping the loss of millions of jobs, billions of taxpayer dollars to the Green Climate Fund, and increasing energy costs to the citizens.

“We will need to be vigilant with what may come next by the environmentalists. This is only the start.”

Bette Grande
Research Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute

“President Donald Trump made a smart political move with his announcement today: He didn’t discuss the science at all. He kept his comments limited to the economic effects of the accord and the unfairness of taxing the United States – a country that has been reducing greenhouse gas emissions – in order to send money to countries that will be allowed to increase emissions. Characterizing the accord as economically devastating and unfair to the average American hits the agreement at its weakest point.

“Former President Barack Obama unwittingly acknowledged the game-changing force of Trump’s argument today by stressing that nations adhering to the accord will enjoy a big boost from forthcoming green jobs. The fact that these green jobs obliterate at least twice as many other jobs is not lost on people in Pittsburgh and elsewhere around the United States. The promise of employment 10 years or more down the road rings hollow to people who have already lost their jobs – and see all the new tech employment gravitating to San Francisco and other places they’ll never even get to visit, much less find jobs in.

“Trump’s decision, and his announcement, reinforced the set of ideas that won him the presidency. On top of all that, the decision means a great boost to the nation’s economy.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Publications
The Heartland Institute
Senior Editor, Environment & Climate News

“President Trump is right to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. I hope other developed countries follow suit.

“Regardless of what one thinks of the shaky science underlying the treaty, it is important to understand that Paris treats developed and developing countries very differently. Yet non-OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries are now the greatest source of energy-related CO2 emissions.

“For example, while the Obama administration committed the U.S. to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (82 percent of which is CO2) by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, China merely agreed to stop increasing its CO2 emissions by 2030. According to Hanna Fekete of NewClimate Institute, China’s emissions in 2025 are expected to be 70 percent above 2005 levels. This, Ms. Fekete says, ‘is putting them on track to over-achieving their Paris Agreement target.’ As President Trump would say, ‘Unbelievable!’”

Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition
Ottawa, Canada
Policy Advisor, Energy and Environment
The Heartland Institute

“President Trump stands alone on the world stage as the only true global leader willing to call a spade a spade. The Paris Climate Accord was less about saving the planet than it was about transferring wealth and ceding governing control from the U.S. to other nations of the world.

“But beyond that, the Paris Accord was based upon faulty science – rising atmospheric CO2 is not causing, nor will it cause, dangerous global warming. Rather, this benign gas is beneficial to all life on Earth via its growth-enhancing, water-saving, and stress-ameliorating effects on plants, which are well-documented in Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts.”

Craig D. Idso
Senior Fellow, Environment
The Heartland Institute
Co-editor, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

“If dangerous anthropogenic global warming (alias “climate change”) is false – and based on the evidence, plus the tampering with the data, it is – this removes the fundamental grounds for staying in the Paris Climate Accord. It also points up how duped countries were to have ever agreed to it.”

Laurence I. Gould, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
University of Hartford
Chair (2004), New England Section of the American Physical Society

“Today’s announcement withdraws this country from an extra-constitutional, unratified treaty that allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ramp up costly, job-killing regulations that impose disproportionate harm on the poorest among us without any benefit to the environment. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but rather the lifeblood of the plant kingdom and the animals who feed on it. A warmer planet is good for Americans who live in temperate climate zones and who benefit from warmer winters and longer growing seasons. There is no evidence that human-caused warming has contributed to any increase in catastrophic climate events or to rising sea levels.

“This decision ranks with the choice of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. It can only be hoped that these two decisions herald the ultimate end of the administrative state and its command-and-control regulations.”

Thomas Walton, Ph.D.
Director, Economic Policy Analysis
General Motors (retired)

“President Trump has demonstrated resolute leadership in his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. Without any impact on global temperatures, Paris was the open door for egregious regulation, cronyism, and government spending that would have been as disastrous for the American economy as it is proving to be for those in Europe.

“Heritage Foundation analysts projected that this agreement would have raised energy prices, killed jobs, and cost the average family of four $20,000 by 2035. It’s the exact opposite of the ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda President Trump promised to pursue. Au revoir to the Paris Agreement, indeed.

“A word of caution: Any attempted renegotiation of the Paris accords must achieve measurable environmental gains, not cause economic harm, and should not spend a penny subsidizing energy technologies or transferring wealth to other countries.”

Nick Loris 
Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow
The Heritage Foundation
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute

Joseph Bast is a Senior Fellow at The Heartland Institute. He cofounded Heartland in 1984, serving as executive director then as president & CEO until January 2018. His research and writing focuses on climate change and energy policy. @JosephLBast
Frederick D. Palmer is a policy advisor for energy and climate at The Heartland Institute.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
Jim Lakely is the Vice President and Director of Communications of The Heartland Institute. @jlakely
Tim Benson joined The Heartland Institute in September 2015 as a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department. @HeartlandGR
Bette Grande is a State Government Relations Manager at The Heartland Institute. Prior to coming to Heartland, she served as a North Dakota state representative from 1996–2014, representing the 41st district. @BetteGrande
S. T. Karnick is a senior fellow and director of publications for The Heartland Institute.
Tom Harris is executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition @TomHarrisICSC
Dr. Idso is the founder, former president, and currently chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.
Laurence I. Gould is Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Past Chair (2004) of the New England Section of the American Physical Society. Dr. Gould earned his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in physics from Temple University and his B.S.
Dr. Thomas Walton is an affiliated expert at AEG. Dr.
Nicolas (Nick) Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation as well as a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute. @@NiconomistLoris

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