Republican Congress Failing To Act To Replace Paris Accord With Something Better
You know the terrible situation we’re facing. Climate change is by far the most serious crisis facing our planet, but last week, Donald Trump announced that he had decided to take the United States of America out of the Paris accord, the only global agreement to confront climate change that has ever existed. From now on, Trump declared, the United States will not be working with the rest of the world to slow down or reduce the impact of climate change.
In his speech explaining the removal of the USA from the global climate agreement, Trump said that he thought that the United States could negotiate a better deal. Then, Trump explained that he didn’t have any ideas for himself about what such a new climate deal could look like, and doesn’t plan to do anything to develop such a deal.
Maybe people in Congress could come up with something, Trump said.
Donald Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress.
So, what is Congress doing to address to yawning void where US involvement in the international climate accord used to be? I looked at all the relevant congressional committees to see what they’re doing to address the climate crisis.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing later this week to discuss plans to allow corporations to withhold information from consumers on food labels, but has no plans for any hearings on climate change.
The House Committee on Natural Resources will be holding a hearing on Wednesday about how to deal with the huge number of dangerous abandoned coal mines scattered across the United States, but has no plans for any hearings to discuss how to deal with the global climate change made worse by all the coal that was hauled out of those mines.
On Thursday, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing to talk about funding for Donald Trump’s plan to set up colonies on the Moon and Mars, but has no plans for any hearings to discuss how to keep the climate right here on planet Earth from careening out of control.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will discuss Republican plans this week to hand over air traffic control to private corporations such as the ones that have been beating passengers into bloody pulps as they are pulled off flights. The committee has no plans for any hearings on climate change, however.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing this week about cost reductions in energy technology, but has no plans for any hearings about any aspect of climate change, which is significantly impacting the direction in which energy technology needs to be developed.
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation is taking the time this week for a hearing to consider the nominee to be Under Secretary of the Department of Transportation for policy, but has no plans for any hearings on climate change, which is dramatically reshaping the forms of transportation that can be considered sustainable.
The Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works has no plans for any hearings on climate change, the most important environmental issue of our time. What’s more, there hasn’t been a single hearing on climate change this entire year.
All of these committees are controlled by Republicans. If Donald Trump and the Republican Party truly had the desire to replace U.S. participation in the climate accord with a better alternative deal, they would be working on the deal, holding hearings on the matter. The fact that there isn’t any congressional committee even talking about climate change shows what the Republican rejection of the climate accord is really all about: Donald Trump and his Republican followers simply intend for the United States to do nothing about climate change.
They want to help multinational corporations continue to profit from the emissions of greenhouse gases, while working Americans pay the bill for the massive damage that results. The Trump plan to do nothing about the climate crisis isn’t just a plan to allow the destruction of the Earth’s climate. It’s also an economic plan for the further concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a tiny number of people.