04.10.2015 2

Obama’s stealth climate treaty

first climate change summit

By Robert Romano

Click here to tell Congress to stop Obama’s stealth climate trade deal!

Global trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership can be used to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions” around the world.

So said Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman in an April 8 speech to the Brookings Institution in favor of the Pacific trade deal.

Furman was referencing the 2015 Economic Report of the President, outlining the supposed environmental protection benefits of trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. According to the report, “Trade agreements can raise environmental standards in countries that otherwise would not be motivated to raise standards on their own.”

The report also states “strong, enforceable environmental provisions pursued as part of our bilateral and regional trade agreements can help raise environmental standards in our trading partners…”

To put the icing on the cake, the U.S. Trade Representative website on the trade deal explicitly states, “Through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the United States is negotiating for robust environment standards and commitments from member countries.”

As the Trans-Pacific Partnership is negotiated, that certainly sounds like bad news for American coal producers, particularly those in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) home state of Kentucky. The coal industry’s export interests could be adversely harmed if it turns out the trade agreement is really a stealth climate treaty.

And Senate Republicans may be prepared to put the trade agreement to an up or down vote — before they even read it.

That’s right. Next week, the Senate will be introducing so-called “fast track” trade promotion authority legislation to allow the trade agreement to come to the floor on an expedited basis without even the opportunity to amend it — after President Barack Obama is done negotiating it.

They’re not even going to review the agreement before they sacrifice the supermajority requirement to adopt it.

Who ever heard of the Senate invoking cloture on legislation members have not even had the chance to read yet? Let alone something with such broad negative ramifications against U.S. energy exporters?

Yet, that is precisely what McConnell and Senate Republicans are proposing to do with the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Now perhaps it is unreasonable to expect that Malaysia might adopt our minimum wage, or Australia to restrict coal electricity consumption the way the Environmental Protection Agency has here. But why leave it to chance?

This is no free trade deal.

Instead, this could be a stealth treaty for Obama to regulate the global economy, and in particular, to put the coal industry out of business — once and for all. Why would McConnell agree to an expedited process for an agreement that might regulate the climate before it has even been finalized?

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government. 

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