Does it surprise anyone at all that congressional Republicans would be highly critical of a deal struck this week between the United States and China to cut carbon gases over the next couple of decades?
I didn’t think so.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the incoming chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, wasted little time in calling the pact a “non-binding charade.”
And the deal is … ?
President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed the nations should cut carbon emissions by as much as 30 percent by 2030. Inhofe — one of the Senate’s premier climate change deniers — said China will continue to build coal-fired power plants and has “no known reserves” of natural gas on which to rely.
He calls the deal a fraud.
Inhofe also says the results of the mid-term elections repudiated the president’s policy agenda on such issues as climate change and that, by golly, he’s going to roll those policies back once he becomes chairman of the Senate environment panel.
I’ll add as an aside that there’s a certain irony in handing over the chairmanship of a key congressional environmental committee to someone who keeps dismissing the notion that Earth’s climate is changing and that there just might be a human cause to much of the warming that’s occurring — the current bitter cold snap that’s gripped much of the nation notwithstanding.
Obama said this in announcing the agreement in Beijing: “As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change.”
And we have this, then, from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “The president appears to be undeterred by the American people’s clear repudiation of his policies of more regulations and higher energy costs.”
Higher energy costs? McCarthy needs to ponder the ongoing trend in fossil fuel prices. They’ve gone down, Mr. Majority Leader.
I get that China doesn’t engender a lot of trust among many Americans. Count me as one who is skeptical of Beijing’s commitment to do what it promises to do.
At least we’ve got them on the record to cut carbon gases. Let’s hold them to that pledge.