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Try for Better Deal on Climate

Tens of millions of Americans already are paying substantially higher electric bills to reduce the carbon emissions blamed for climate change. We had no choice in the matter; former President Barack Obama’s fixation on killing the coal industry has reduced accessibility to reasonably priced power.

Going forward, many power companies have made irreversible decisions to cut carbon emissions even more. Many states have policies encouraging or requiring such a shift.

Tens of thousands of working people already have lost their jobs because of the change. Entire regions have seen their economies devastated.

All of that is fact.

But, advocates of even more severe action insist, nearly 200 signatories to the so-called Paris Accords on climate change have agreed to do more. President Donald Trump is wrong to suggest the United States should pull out of that agreement, they add.

That is not true.

Here are a few more facts:

∫ About one-fourth of the countries that indicated in 2015 they would abide by the Paris Accords have not yet ratified them. Russia is in that number.

∫ India is among the top carbon emitters. Its ratification included stipulations it could back out of the agreement if its economy suffers — or if other nations do not provide it with assistance.

∫ China is the world’s top carbon emitter. Its Paris Accords targets are drastically lower than those for the United States.

∫ The agreement, which amounts to an international treaty, was never ratified by the U.S. Senate, as required by the Constitution.

∫ Obama’s administration committed the United States to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 30 percent from current levels. That would be devastating to our economy.

∫ By one estimate, compliance with the Paris agreements would cost our country 6.5 million more jobs. It would send electric bills soaring, to perhaps an average of nearly $600 a month more than current levels.

∫ We Americans have a habit of keeping our international agreements. Not everyone does. Compliance with the Paris Accords is voluntary. There is no enforcement mechanism.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump did the right thing for his fellow Americans. He announced the United States is pulling out of the Paris agreement.

But Trump left the door open for new initiatives against climate change. U.S. officials are willing to renegotiate the Paris Accords — but this time, without allowing the deck to be stacked against Americans.

Good. Trump and Congress — which should be involved, this time around — should not bow to the demands of those in other nations whose agendas have more to do with harming the American economy than helping the environment.

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