McConnell Working To Undermine International Climate Change Negotiations
March 23, 2015

Jerry Brown says that Mitch McConnell's actions "border on the immoral." He's too kind.

Last week, McConnell sent a letter to all state governors urging them to choose not to comply with the EPA rules made to meet the requirement that the United States reduce carbon emissions to 70 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.

Greg Sargent explains that this is just as bad as the letter to Iran.

Late last week, it was reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has launched a broad campaign to block President Obama’s proposed new plan to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, a likely centerpiece of his legacy. McConnell has sent a letter to governors across the countryurging them not to comply with the plan’s new rules — which direct statesto set up their own plans to reduce emissions or face the imposition of a federal plan — on the grounds that they are unconstitutional and may soon be blocked in the courts.

And this deserves more attention: McConnell’s campaign is explicitly designed to undermine the administration’s efforts to negotiate a global climate treaty, by sowing doubts as to whether the U.S. could uphold its end of any carbon-emissions-reducing bargain, according to Coral Davenport of the New York Times.

Sargent interviewed Richard Revesz, an expert on climate change and also one who is familiar with what is at stake.

In response to a question about whether McConnell's strategy could work, Revesz replied:

It’s always plausible that enough questions could be raised in foreign countries about the ability of the United States to carry out its commitments. I regard the decision by China to reduce its greenhouse gases to be very significant, and I don’t think China would have done it if it had not believed the U.S. is committed to reducing its own greenhouse gases. The U.S. approach is likely to bring other countries into the fold as well.

If McConnell succeeds in convincing enough foreign countries that the administration’s view is wrong, which I doubt will be the case, it could have a serious impact on the probability that other countries would make significant commitments to reducing their own greenhouse gases.

In case there was any doubt, let me lay it to rest. McConnell's number one priority is to serve oil and coal interests.

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