Wyoming's Delegation Is Skeptical About The Paris Climate Talks

Nov 20, 2015

Credit newsroom.unfccc.int/paris

Remember when Democrats controlled Congress a few years back? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had stout majorities back then. Yet even then Democrats couldn’t get legislation passed to combat climate change. So why is the Obama administration preparing to go to Paris to promise the world drastic emission reductions from the United States? U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis said the answer is simple.

“Oh, he’s bypassing Congress.”

Lummis said President Obama isn’t being honest with global leaders as he’s promising lavish reductions in CO2.

“Clearly the environmental issues are front and center in his legacy and he wants to spend these last months in office making that legacy more polished.”

This week the U.S. Senate passed legislation by a slim majority to block the president’s Clean Power Plan – or CPP. That’s the new carbon reduction rules coming from the Environmental Protection Agency. Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi  said it’s not right for the president to go to Paris and tell the world the U.S. is taking the lead on climate change.

“It’s nothing short of irresponsible and disingenuous.”

With the Senate rejecting the carbon proposal just this week, Enzi said the president doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on.

“The emissions goals described in the CPP which has been rejected by industry and rejected by almost half the states are at the heart of this administration's plan to contribute to the overall global emissions reduction to make commitments to our allies based on that plan, doesn’t have the support of the American public.”

Democrats beg to differ. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is one of the loudest crusaders in Washington against climate change. He said the President will explain to other leaders that he'll veto the Republican bill.

Whitehouse said congressional Democrats will lead the push towards renewables.

“We’re going to uphold the veto and strong majorities of the American public support action on climate change.”

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey added that the Paris talks are a great chance to move the world off fossil fuels.

“Are we still going to be tied to 19th-century technologies like coal as the way in which we generate electricity within our country?”

President Obama is also promising to help other nations transition off coal and other fossil fuels with billions of dollars in assistance from the U.S. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso is predicting Congress will never allocate that promised money. 

“Congress will weigh in on whatever comes out of the Paris climate talks and the money the president has requested as part of his budget. Congress will have a say.”

Barrasso adds that after the tragic terrorist attacks in France last week, the focus shouldn’t be on energy issues.

“The president ought to be focused not on the upcoming Paris climate talks two weeks from now but on the attacks that happened in Paris last week. Yet the president has promised three billion dollars for his global climate is green climate fund.” 

Congresswoman Lunmis added that  the Paris climate negotiations don't matter because the President won’t even be in the Oval Office to implement any agreement.

“I’m not terribly concerned about the long-term effects of this it will be the next president working with the next congress that makes decisions on these issues that it would at least have a medium term effect.”

One way or another, whatever happens in Paris, is going to be felt in Wyoming.