The media battle lines are set on the Paris Climate Change Agreement with Politico hoping that Trump will continue to “study” the issue
Formal withdrawal is largely academic as regards the US itself since multiple steps have already been taken to abort its effect. These include far reaching attempts to roll back the layers of permitting regulation stemming from the 1969 EPA Act. In the near term, Trump is set to eliminate two Obama regulations covering generators’ greenhouse gas emissions and using the Clean Water Act to justify permitting refusals on spurious wetland and waterway protection grounds.
Just as heart-warming is the fanging of the economy-crippling “Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy” budget in the EPA which faces a quartering in Trump’s budget proposals for 2018.
Even so, formal US withdrawal is important for two reasons.
First, while the US is a party to the agreement, there will be pressures on its administration to continue the investment-stifling and cost-impositions inferred by its “Nationally Determined Contribution” to emission cutting.
Secondly, the swamp politicians are keen to see Trump remain in the tent since US continued membership gives them cover to continue the policies to which they have tied themselves. That’s why the other G7 “leaders” maintained closed ranks in supporting 2015 the economy-crushing deal they had blindly been led into accepting in Paris and ganged up to get Trump’s support; they recognised his formal withdrawal will set the stage for their own humiliation at accepting economic suicide in the first place. Stalling for time Angela Merkel, told reporters, “There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris agreement or not.”
For the time being other traditional politicians are also putting on a brave face, as is Australia. Josh Frydenberg quoted Turnbull from November of last year saying irrespective of the US position “Turnbull government takes its emissions targets seriously and we’re going on and trying to meet them”. Turnbull readily accepted the bureaucrats’ advice saying anyway it takes four years to withdraw.
Australia confronts the Finkel report into the “Future security of the national electricity market” in June. It is unlikely that, as a Turnbull warmist appointee, Finkel will advocate anything less than a continued race to the create high cost, competitiveness-sapping economy he has long pursued. One of the few submissions, a summary of which is here opposing this was that (in which I had a hand) of the Australian Environment Foundation.
Eventually, if Trump prevails and implements his deregulatory initiatives, the benefits will be apparent even to the blindest of politicians. The question is will it be too late for the Australian economy to be resurrected or will we go down that long path to regulatory-induced economic mediocrity followed by Argentina last century.