Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Science, Space and Technology Committee conducts hearing on Paris climate agreement

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing last week on the Paris climate agreement, through which President Barack Obama pledged to reduce American greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050

Witnesses at the hearing included representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the World Resources Institute and The Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.

One issue discussed was the legality of the pledge, which was not made with Congressional cooperation. This presents a constitutional issue, since the pledge is not ratified by the Senate, and a budgetary issue, as the pledge promises funds to aid the emission reduction efforts of developing countries. Any allocation of public funds must go through Congress. The witnesses also discussed the pledge's potential to impact climate change, highlighting the limited effectiveness of the U.S.’s contributions when considered alone.

“The President’s Paris pledge will increase electricity costs, ration energy and slow economic growth,” U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who chairs the Science, Space and Technology Committee, said. “Congress has repeatedly rejected the President’s extreme climate agenda. The President’s climate pledge is a bad deal for the American economy, the American people and would produce no substantive environmental benefits.”

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United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

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