Obama plans to ink climate deal without Senate approval
President Obama is planning to use some legislative trickery to write a new climate change accord and bypass the Senate's historic responsibility to approve treaties.
Hey! At least he's consistent in his lawbreaking.
Obama's climate team is putting together a “politically binding” deal to “name and shame” nations to cut their emissions, according to The New York Times.
The administration’s hope is to get the deal signed by a United Nations summit next year in Paris.
Because the Senate would be unlikely to ratify a treaty on global warming, the administration is seeking to mix fresh voluntary pledges with legally binding 1992 treaty conditions.
Such a deal, according to officials quoted by the Times, would represent an updated version of an existing deal, and would not require ratification by the Senate.
Delegates will discuss the proposal next month at a UN meeting in New York and would hope to draft the agreement in December at a meeting in Lima, Peru.
Such a deal is still likely to be very controversial in the United States, and talk of the unusual agreement comes months before a midterm election where the Senate majority is in play.
“Unfortunately, this would be just another of many examples of the Obama administration’s tendency to abide by laws that it likes and to disregard laws it doesn’t like — and to ignore the elected representatives of the people when they don’t agree,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the Times in a statement.
The Times report quotes other officials saying they understand it would be difficult for a new climate change treaty to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.
Laurence Tubiana, French climate change ambassador to the UN, told the Times that "[t]here’s a strong understanding of the difficulties of the U.S. situation, and a willingness to work with the U.S. to get out of this impasse."
Last month, the Obama administration released a report saying that not acting to curb carbon emissions would raise the global temperature by 3 degrees Celsius and cost America and others $150 billion per year, part of its push for carbon rules.
There isn't a reputable scientist in the world - even if they support the notion of climate change - who would predict a specific rise in temperature over any time period. Three degrees is a number picked out of a hat and has nothing to do with reality.
The ploy to piggyback Obama's proposal on a 1992 law violates the whole idea of separation of powers by giving the president treaty ratifying authority that the Constitution clearly reserved for the Senate. It's cynically transparent in its skirting the Constitution to make legal what ordinarily would be illegal.
For the president, democracy is just too hard.