As The New York Times exclusively reported on Tuesday, President Obama is once again looking to stretch the constitutional limits of his power by acting unilaterally to “forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions” ahead of the 2015 United Nations summit.
In an article entitled “Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty,” the Times admits Obama will have to exercise some serious legal gymnastics in order to circumvent Congress and the obvious noncompliance of Republicans in the Senate.
The Times reports:
In preparation for this agreement… negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.
“There’s some legal and political magic to this,” said Jake Schmidt, an expert in global climate negotiations with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. “They’re trying to move this as far as possible without having to reach the 67-vote threshold” in the Senate.
Read the entire Times report HERE.
In an attempt to sidestep Congress, the Times says American negotiators are looking for a “hybrid agreement,” which would blend “legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty” and “new voluntary pledges.” Such a mix would not require “a new vote of ratification.”
On radio this morning, TheBlaze’s Buck Sexton filled in for Glenn, and he explained why this latest power grab has ramifications far beyond the constitutionality of the action.
“You may not care about what the U.N. is doing in terms of meddling in America,” Buck explained. “But if you care about your electricity bill, you care about regulations on your business, you care about how expensive gas is that goes into your car, you care about the products that you buy every day in the store that use gasoline as part of the manufacturing process… you would be affected by this.”
While countries like Russia and China will not take a ‘in good faith’ agreement seriously, the Obama Administration will regulate homes and businesses to comply with these standards, which will have a direct impact on the U.S. economy.
“You still would be affected by an international agreement that would have only the good faith parties enforcing upon themselves climate regulations that some U.N. bureaucrats are deciding is a good idea,” Buck said. “That will have an immediate impact upon the U.S. economy because we will take it seriously – or at least if President Obama and the Democrats have their way, we will take it seriously.”
Since there is very little doubt this agreement will have little impact on a global scale, Buck offered a different reasoning as to why the President is working so hard to negotiate this deal.
“The true environmentalist left just wants to use this kind of an agreement as a mechanism for the transfer of wealth… from us to other countries around the world. That’s what this is actually really about,” Buck concluded. “It’s about purifying America through the pain of a stalled economy. That will come from the restrictions we put upon ourselves because if we don’t, the planet is going to melt down… or whatever they’ve got to say.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP