At the multi-nation meetings a few days ago in China, President Obama announced that a deal had been reached with Chinese President Xi Jinping that would, for the first time, set specific targets for both countries — the two biggest polluters in the world — to meet for total CO2 emissions. Naturally, the Republicans are losing their minds over it.
A groundbreaking agreement struck Wednesday by the United States and China puts the world’s two worst polluters on a faster track to curbing the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. With the clock ticking on a worldwide climate treaty, the two countries sought to move beyond their troubled history as environmental adversaries and spur other nations.
The U.S., a chief proponent of the prospective treaty, is setting an ambitious new goal to stop pumping as much carbon dioxide into the air. China, whose appetite for cheap energy has grown along with its burgeoning economy, agreed for the first time to a self-imposed deadline of 2030 for when its emissions will top out…
Still, the dual announcements from President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, unveiled Wednesday in Beijing, came as a shock to environmentalists who had pined for such action but suspected China’s reluctance and Obama’s weakened political standing might interfere. In Washington, Republicans were equally taken aback, accusing Obama of saddling future presidents with an unrealistic burden…“This is a major milestone in the U.S.-China relationship,” Obama said, with Xi at his side. “It shows what’s possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge.”
But Obama’s opponents in Congress balked, dismissing the new U.S. target as “job-destroying red tape” that would squeeze the middle class.
“This unrealistic plan that the president would dump on his successor would ensure higher utility rates and far fewer jobs,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is set to become the majority leader early next year.
Yes, yes, that’s the response we always hear. If the Republicans had their way, the government would take no action at all to abate pollution and protect the environment. Why? Because their paymasters demand it. But the argument we’ve been hearing from them for years goes like this: Why should we cut our emissions when China will never cut theirs? Why should the U.S. alone bear the burden? And yet the moment the Chinese do agree to take action, they just revert to the same old argument they’ve always made. It’s all part of their War on Clean Air.