Points Missed On Paris Accord

Opinion / Aug. 10, 2017 11:33am EDT

As a rural state with an agrarian economy, Vermont is filled with people who have a great affinity for the land, and the environment. Vermont is also a state with a great traditional respect for the law.

Thus, it was interesting to read of the VLS lecture on the Paris climate accord. The article made repeated mention of this “treaty”…“ratified by 152 nations.” The lecturer, a graduate of three Ivy League universities and a professor of law, reportedly claimed the United States cannot withdraw from this accord until after the next presidential election. Using the speaker’s own words, he is “simply, demonstrably incorrect.”

Perhaps he needs a course in constitutional law, to understand the U.S. is not bound to any treaty without the consent of the Congress, which in the case of the Paris Agreement never occurred, even during the Obama administration. If the Agreement is indeed “a binding treaty under international law” as claimed, the U.S. has never legally agreed to be bound by it. One would hope that a lecture at a law school would get this correct.

If Americans believe the Paris Accord is necessary to make a material improvement in the future environment, in a way that is fair and affordable, they need to vote in the senators necessary to ratify this agreement. Or reject the notion that we are a nation of free people governed by laws of our own choosing.

Tim Dreisbach


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