By Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian

June 02, 2017

Today, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, clearly demonstrating his commitment to putting America first and prioritizing jobs for middle-class Americans.

President Trump is right to withdraw. The Paris Climate Accord is a bad, unfair deal for the American people and would put us at a severe economic disadvantage. While it allows other nations such as China to continue increasing carbon emissions until 2030, the United States cut its carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels. Most astoundingly, the agreement allows India to double its coal usage by 2020.

According to a report sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, remaining in the Paris Climate Accord would cost the American economy and workers 6.5 million jobs and $3 trillion in economic growth by 2040.  As you can see, while America’s economy would take a massive hit, other nations would continue business as usual. Under the agreement, China can continue building hundreds of coal-fired power plants. The Paris Climate Accord doesn’t get rid of coal jobs – it just moves them overseas.

The justification for killing millions of American jobs and causing trillions of dollars of damage to our economy is the potential to decrease global temperatures by no more than 0.17 degrees Celsius by 2100 – and that is only if implemented perfectly. This accord is a classic example of what happens when policy is based on politically-driven rhetoric disguised as science.

Last November, the American people made it clear they do not want climate alarmists with no regard for American jobs in charge of public policy. Americans expect their public servants to represent their best interests, not the latest fad in the international community.

The environmental movement is losing creditability with the working American by prioritizing costly mandates and carbon-taxes over free-markets and innovation. It’s time we put Lubbock, Houston, and McAllen, Texas ahead of Paris, France. 

Through advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the free-market is reducing our carbon emissions by flooding the electric market with low-cost natural gas to generate electricity. Petra Nova, the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facility, takes carbon from an existing coal-fueled power plant and uses it for the enhanced recovery of oil while sequestering CO2 underground. Human innovation and competitive markets are reducing carbon in the atmosphere, while ensuring energy remains cheap, plentiful, and reliable.

Remaining in the Paris Climate Accord puts all this progress at risk, disproportionately affecting the United States and Texas, depleting our coffers and striking fear in the hearts of the hundreds of thousands of workers and their families in our booming energy sector. 

Exiting the Paris Climate Accord and dismantling the so-called Clean Power Plan is a good start to an America first energy strategy. I am thankful that President Trump puts American workers above wayward science and country before climate alarmism.

A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected to join the Railroad Commission of Texas in November 2016. In 1996, Christian was elected to the House of Representatives as the first Republican elected from Deep East Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. During his time in the Texas House, Christian served as Vice-Chair of Regulated Industries and as a multi-term member of the Energy Resource Committee. On these committees, he had direct oversight of the Railroad Commission and accumulated a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.