FOI Emails Reveal Obama’s Paris Climate Scheme

Date: 07/26/17

Christopher C. Horner, The Washington Times

Emails show ‘disturbing contempt’ for the Senate’s treaty role

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Obama Plan to Usurp the Senate’s Legislative Power Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The New York Times on Aug. 24, 2014, broke a major news story: “Obama pushing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty.” It’s a clumsy headline — no one dared claim the Kyoto Protocol was anything other than a treaty requiring Senate ratification, and even the Grey Lady calls it the “Kyoto Accord.” What the story revealed, however, was shocking news indeed, made more shocking by an email just revealed by the State Department in Freedom of Information Act litigation.
This email, obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, further calls into question the Senate’s failure to confront President Obama over his usurpation of the body’s constitutional treaty function through the Paris climate agreement.

It also stokes concerns whether the institution will reclaim its powers, as appears will be necessary in order to make good on President Trump’s announced plan to withdraw from Paris.

The Times story’s key passage:

“In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. The Obama administration’s international climate strategy is likely to infuriate Republican lawmakers who already say the president is abusing his executive authority by pushing through major policies without congressional approval.”

Mr. Obama jammed those EPA rules through by executive fiat, after a Democrat-led Congress killed legislation to grant the authority he then claimed to already possess; the Supreme Court put the rules on ice upon challenge by a majority of states. The Paris climate agreement, however, unilaterally imposed on Mr. Obama’s way out the door, would be “a treaty that was going to last until the end of the century.”

That’s according to a senior Obama administration official.

Of course, under our Constitution’s Article II, Section 2, no president can commit the U.S. to treaties without Senate advice and consent.

On the morning the Times story broke outing Mr. Obama’s Paris end-run around our Constitution, State Department public affairs aide Alexandra Costello wrote to Andy Olson, a lawyer for the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, insisting the story contained “some inaccuracies/assumptions that we pushed back on” without success.

Mr. Olson wrote back, “I certainly hope it is inaccurate because some of the things alleged indicate a disturbing contempt for the Senate’s constitutional rights and responsibilities. We will need to be fully briefed when staff are back next week.” Strong stuff, and true.

These inaccuracies State then ironed out with the Senate are a mystery, given that the Times story accurately detailed what proved to be Mr. Obama’s plan. Yet the Senate rather shamefully made no move to arrest this “contemptuous” usurpation.

Paris is the successor to the Kyoto pact that died in the Senate. Such treaties are nonstarters under the United States’ democratic process; Paris even more so.

Kyoto committed to a five-year plan; the Paris treaty promises a new, tighter commitment every five years, forever. It is a treaty by its terms, custom and practice over two-plus centuries of shared assumptions.

Brazenly, Team Obama advanced a historic pretense of declaring what even they hailed as “the most ambitious climate change agreement in history” somehow “not a treaty,” betting the Senate would not speak up. They bet right.

Though Paris‘ reach into perpetuity was not known at the time this Times story broke, the seizure of power that it revealed made it big news, shocking Senate lawyers. The lack of Senate intervention to this day remains scandalous. As the disastrous Iran deal showed, the institution has so atrophied it can no longer muster the will to protect its constitutionally delegated prerogatives.

On June 1, President Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the Paris treaty, but through a process requiring him to wait more than two more years to send written notice. This would take effect one year after that, by chance the day after the 2020 re-election. As a purely executive move, Mr. Trump’s successor can restore Mr. Obama’s treaty with a pen and a phone. Unless the Senate weighs in.

Over the week following the Times’ story, this same heavily redacted email thread shows State officials exchanging emails over having been caught so far in advance of their intended coup. They were rightly worried, yet in the end, the Senate did nothing.

Full post

HT/ The GWPF

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84 thoughts on “FOI Emails Reveal Obama’s Paris Climate Scheme

  1. Is there a point to this story? It would appear to be a re-hash of a 2014 story from the
    NY Times with approximately zero new content.

    • If you click through to the full post, it does have recent information, including the emails alluded to in the title.

      • Where? I could not find any emails. A lot of blather about what emails supposedly say but no emails. I prefer to read them and come to my own conclusion.

      • Neither could I.
        This article was really a piece of crap.
        The author can not even write understandable sentences:
        “These inaccuracies State then ironed out with the Senate are a mystery, given that the Times story accurately detailed what proved to be Mr. Obama’s plan.”

    • Yea there is a point Obama and his loony left felt the imperial power to anything he wants.
      Go Trump go!

      • Unfortunately too many on the right are as brainwashed as those on the left and ignorant of reality.

      • Actually, it is only the progressive and conservative voters who are brainwashed. The establishement of both parties are looking out for their own interests. Nothing will change until they are all voted out of office.

      • The Status Quo…are the Devil you know or the Devil you don’t know that replaces them. How do you keep those that you want to keep when Term Limits happens…if that happened? An informed masses is required and is far from what we’ve had for over a century in electing our representatives. People tend to vote by name recognition more than on issues, because only during elections do most pay any attention to politicians or what’s going on in Government.

    • Germinio had to ask:

      Is there a point to this story?

      “Yes”, there was an extremely important “point” that was highlighted by this story, to wit:

      The lack of Senate intervention to this day remains scandalous. ……………. the institution has so atrophied it can no longer muster the will to protect its constitutionally delegated prerogatives.

      The US Senate, as a whole, or as individual members, really don’t give a damn about abiding by or protecting their constitutionally delegated prerogatives and/or mandated responsibilities.

      • That’s because the Senate was set up to have its members appointed by State legislatures. The 17th Amendment changed that to Senators being directly elected by the people. Senators are now beholding to special interests and not to the people of the State they represent. It is time to repeal the 17th.

      • Absolutely Tom. The only way that’s going to happen is with the 5th Amendment and enough States to do it.

      • Tom, I agree with your comment; but in my opinion that boat has sailed. You would not get congress critters to back such a repeal and almost by definition the public would not understand or vote for something that would seem to lessen their voice. (A Constitutional Convention called by the states is also unlikely and potentially dangerous.)
        The next best alternative is term limits. I think the public ready for that.

    • Furthermore, thank god Obama did it by executive order. Had it become a “treaty,” it would have become the law of the land and, as an international treaty, trumped domestic law. Repealing it would have been a massive headache requiring a Congressional (House and Senate) vote and months, possibly two years, of manipulation and bickering. And sobbing Snowflakes.

      That’s what enabled Trump to use an executive order to end it. Lickety-split.

  2. There’s many reasons the ratings of Congress are lower than whale poop, and this is one of them.

    • The past administration’s disregard for constitutional government can’t be laid at the feet of the Senate; rather, it is the unconstitutional behavior of the past president that was the problem.

      • It certainly can. It’s called separation of powers and was intended to keep the government from going rogue using checks and balances. No way the founding fathers could have imagined a Congress full of spinelss, greedy, uncaring individuals whose only goal was to get re-relected. Congress at this point is an insult to the Constitution and the United States.

      • What Obama did with Paris Agreement was perfectly constitutional. The US President has dominion over foreign policy. Go read the Constitution. In domestic affairs, his executive power is equal to the other branches of government. [The sneakiness of the UNFCC has been to keep all climate change negotiations out of US jurisdiction since inception, even though the UN Headquarter is in Manhattan.]

        But in foreign matters, the US President is Head of State. Period. And has powers the legislative and judicial branches and rest of the executive have not been granted.

        (That’s what permitted Nixon to get on Airforce One in the middle of the night, without anyone’s permission, maintain a news blackout, and fly to Beijing to open relations with China. His g.d. right as Head of State. Ditto Reagan meeting Gorbachev in Reykjavik alone with no one interfering or telling him what to do, or what he could say. Head of State.)

  3. The Paris agreement is toothless, with all participation voluntary. Once Trump stopped the $3B giveaway (unfortunately only after the first billion left the country) the fact that the US has not formally left has no real-world consequences. Trump could also (and should, were it not for Tillerson and others) leave the parent committee of the Paris Agreement, the UNFCC, which has a process that takes just one year from the day the US says they want to leave.

    • What he ought to do is to declare it an unratified treaty – as such, it never went into effect for the United States, therefore we don’t have to abide by any of its terms. Done, we’re out.

    • It is interesting that one individual can send a billion dollars to an agreement all by himself……

  4. Because the House of Representatives holds the Power of the Purse not only would the Senate be involved in the Paris Agreement. President Trump did the Constitutional thing to stop this madness that would cost the taxpayers trillions over centuries that the Paris Agreement was designed to create in their Globalization schemes.

    • Obama promised funds that were allocated to the Executive Branch, so those funds were approved by the Congress and thus the give away was legal. Trump reallocating those funds to something else is also legal.

      • No, Obama promised funds that would be allocated to the executive branch in the future, indefinitely. He also promised that all future US governments, executive and legislative, would be bound by the terms he agreed to.

        They were bogus promises, since those promises can only be made binding by senate ratification.

  5. I can’t tell if any of the emails are new revelations or if they all are from the NY Times in 2014.
    “….made more shocking by an email just revealed by the State Department in Freedom of Information Act litigation.”

    This quote is from 1st para; was the email just discovered from a recent FOIA request or does it go back to 2014?

    • “This quote is from 1st para; was the email just discovered from a recent FOIA request or does it go back to 2014?”

      It takes a long time for a Freedom of Information Act request to be filled, so the recent FOIA information is about things that happened in the past, but have just now been released to the public.

  6. In light of the house defeat of the amendment that would relieve the DoD of the obligation to report on climate matters, I feel uneasy.

    Maybe the reason the Senate didn’t stand up to Obama is that there are a few unreliable Republicans. As such, it may have been best to let sleeping dogs lie.

    • Unreliable Republicans? The Republican bench does not have much talent at present. Or spine.

      • BOTH Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker need to be primaried and defeated, Corker is up to be primaried in 2018.Alexander can be primaried in 2020.

      • That is a gross insult to the Demos.
        The Demos are totally devoid of talent and never, ever had a spine.
        So please don’t insult the Demos.

    • Unreliable Republicans? It seems to me there isn’t much difference between most Republicans and most Democrats. The Republicans and Democrats seem to spend a lot of time fighting over who gets credit for what.

      • As my fourth grade-educated father use to say ” THERE IS NOT A DIME’S WORTH OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN.”

  7. As far as Paris goes Obama felt he didn’t have to follow the Constitution and he could do whatever he wanted because he was following advice fashioned here:

  8. Obama had no authority to bind the US, therefore the US is not a party to the agreement. Thus we don’t have to withdraw – or follow any nonbinding “procedure” to withdraw. It’s all nonsense. Like your minor child signing a contract to sell your house – completely nonbinding. All the rest is posturing. However, every official even remotely involved in putting that agreement together should be terminated and sued by the US government.

      • I would argue yes because it was transferred without authority. Only Congress can authorize spending money. On a practical level, I would just take it out of other funds that would have been paid to the UN. I would also have the US personally sue Obama and everyone else involved in the transfer.

      • No, we cannot. It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or not. If Congress and others just held the door open to the vault as the money was carried out (wait, that was Iran….), there’s nothing that can be done. Someone opened the vault—be it a physical vault or a computer transfer—and allowed this. It’s not theft—the door was OPEN. The invite was there. No one stepped in.

      • Sheri,
        That all depends on what account the money came from. If it was from Executive branch allocated funds then the money was authorized to be spent by the Executive branch at the discretion of the Chief Executive. That would also validate Trump not spending any more funds based on a previous decision and he can reallocate those funds somewhere else (how about the border wall?)

      • Tom: My point is that if no one does a thing about what was spent, legality doesn’t matter. If no one prosecutes a bank robber, then he effectively was allowed to rob the bank. If no one cares about the billion dollars, then it doesn’t matter about the legality.

      • “Where there’s no legal controlling authority, there’s no violation of law.” Said by Al Gore in 7 different ways in the Spring of 1997 when trying to defend his phone calls from the White House to solicit Democrat campaign contributions.

      • A more fundamental question: “Why is Congress allocating any funds to be disbursed at the whim of the President?”

      • “Can we then get back the $1 Billion already given?”

        There was a link posted about this within the last week or so, which basically said that apparently Trump and the U.S. still have some say in how that $1 billion already sent to the UN, is going to be spent, and Trump is going to use at least part of it to help U.S. businesses. So it appears not all that U.S. taxpayer money was lost to the socialists at the UN.

  9. Actually. On second thought. I would rather have a large group of chimpanzees running the UN FCCC and IPCC rather than the current Third World Baboons! Ha ha ha Ja ja ja

    Congress! What a SPLENDID IDEA! hahahahahahahahh

  10. Based on opinion polls and speeches of representatives, catastrophic anthropogenic climate alarm seems to preoccupy the top 0.1% richest somewhere in Hollywood, Vatican, Liechtenstein, City of Westminster, Washington DC, select tropical islands and places alike. If they want it, they can keep it.

    The rest of the world, particularly in BRIC and African nations, have more pressing priorities. What are those priorities?

  11. The US Senate is channeling the Roman Senate, dithering away its credibility and frittering away its power.
    And the climate extremists are allowed to live out their open goal of destroying our democracy.

    • It in a Representative REPUBLIC, not a democracy. I guess you didn’t study Civics?

      • You call yourself “Carbon” Bigfoot, when it’s CARBON DIOXIDE that is what is meant, but you complain about someone misusing the term “democracy”?

    • “and frittering away its power.”
      The Senate and the House have for years been giving up their constitutional responsibilities to the Executive branch. None of them want their names attached to anything, controversial or otherwise, that their opponents might use against them in the next election. The whole damned crew, or at least 97%, have as their primary objective their own reelection, not for the good of the country but for their own aggrandizement.

  12. I don’t understand why a stipulation, i.e., can’t withdraw for 4 years, in a non-binding agreement is considered binding.

    • At the time this was being discussed, this was brought up: “The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, article 2(1)(a), defines a treaty as “an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law…” (asil.com) There is something about international law calls any agreement a treaty but US law requires senate approval to be a treaty. It’s rather confusing and a lot of legalize. Is part binding, is it binding at all but if we fight it, the US gets sued? Who knows. Legal wasteland.

    • Obama (et.al.) ignored The Constitution when it suited them. (As others before them.)
      Long past the time when the various parts of the US Government remember that The Constitution and Bill of Rights were formed as a way to implement the ideals of The Declaration of Independence.
      Screw Paris and “international law”… when and only if the US has not been Constitutionally bound.

  13. Meanwhile Russia seizes Crimea from another country and China claims the entire South China Sea stretching a thousand miles from its nearest mainland shores. Ignorance of world chess games is no excuse, as seen in the bombing of Pearl Harbor and seizure of the Sudetenland.

    • Crimea was always part of Russia until Krushchev signed it over to Ukraine in 1954 by administrative decree. It would be like the Canadian PM unilaterally signing over Nova Scotia to the US, and then Nova Scotians decades later voting to return to Canada.

      • Seceding from the US harkens back to Pres. Lincoln and one of the bloodiest civil wars in history.

      • Um … Crimea was handed to Russia by the Ottoman Empire in 1783 … your sense of “always” is a bit skewed … there’s a lot of history that went on both before that and after. In the Soviet Union, Crimea was only part of the Russian SSR for the years 1945-1954. Again hardly “always”.

      • Yes the history is complicated. Rus tribes exerted control over that area during the 9th-12th centuries, but so did others since that time. So ‘always’ was careless wording that should have been better stated as ‘never’. Crimea was never a part of Ukraine until a Ukraine-born soviet dictator said so.

      • Seceding from the US harkens back to Pres. Lincoln and one of the bloodiest civil wars in history.

        That’s why Russian forces moved into Crimea after it voted to rejoin Russia. Neo-nazi militias in Ukraine were getting ready to commit genocide in Crimea on its 80-90% Russian population for payback for the holodomor, just as they tried to do in Donbass.

  14. Was the money given taxpayer money (i.e., money derived from taxes)?

    If so, then it was spent in a way that the people from whom it originated were kept in the dark, as constitutional requirements that govern those people’s government were side stepped. Wouldn’t this mean that the people were robbed, because the government that they entrust to properly handle their tax dollars failed?

    Can people, then, file a class action lawsuit against the government for illegally channeling tax dollars without proper procedures followed to do so? Can we all get a small refund, which would require that the billion be recalled, since it was the peoples’ money ultimately, NOT the President’s money?

    • Okay, not everybody in the USA would want to sue, because some are okay with all this. But there would be a class of people who are NOT okay with this, and THIS class cold be the basis of the lawsuit that would require a recall on that billion to pay back to the people from whom it was robbed, or, at least, a recall of the portion of the billion required to pay off the class action suit maybe.

  15. “These inaccuracies State then ironed out with the Senate are a mystery,”

    This line makes no sense.

    • From the article: “These inaccuracies State then ironed out with the Senate are a mystery,”

      Mark T: “This line makes no sense.”

      Well, the Senate lawyer communicated with a State Department official who said the report of Obama usurping Senate authority was inaccurrate, and the Senate lawyer said “I hope so”, and please brief the Senate on this subject next week.

      The point of the sentence you highlight is there is no record of what the Senate and the State Department did about these so-called inaccuracies. There was no record the author could find that explained what was done about this matter. Did the Senate just blow it off? It seems like they did, since we haven’t heard a peep out of the Senate on this matter to this very day.

  16. In my humble opinion, President Obama – and pretty much his entire ideological cadre – showed disturbing contempt for the country and it’s people as a whole.

    I believed during his tenure, and believe now, that – at best – the country in which he pledged to lead was his LAST priority. And more likely, he looked at as an obstacle that needed to be bulldozed down.

    • The US was founded on the ideal that the just purpose of “Government” was to protect the rights of the individual.
      Those who view “Government” as a means to control the individual would, of course, view such as an obstacle.
      Termites in our framework of freedom.

    • Obama had no respect for the U.S. Constitution. I’m not sure he had much respect for the United States in general, especially its history. I think he considered himself as being among the many victims of the United States.

      Recall that Michelle Obama said right after Obama was first elected president that “this is the first time in my life I feel pride in America”. I think she did not have a good opinion of America to begin with, and I think Barack shared her views.

      Look at the anti-American church the Obama’s attended regularly until its anti-American views became known and then Obama publicly quit going so as not to harm his election efforts.

      President Obama was a very unfortunate mistake of history. Just about everything he touched got worse.

      • Again, something I believe was mostly deliberate, in the sense that he was breaking the system, so there was no choice but to replace it with one built in his own image.

  17. The problem in the USA is that a lot of Republicans that call themselves Republicans to get elected are
    closet Democrats .
    The Health care vote yesterday was narrowly defeated despite Republicans having the needed majority by themselves . Trump will get nothing done through these elected Houses just like Obama in his last term . Grid lock except when it comes to approving the spending needs of themselves and bumping up the tax payer credit card limit . The USA has to crash or have an external crisis before it can overcome the collective weight of the lobbyist’s who own the politicians . Get rid of super packs the downfall of democracy .
    Obama orchestrated the biggest rip off of tax payers in history by wordsmithing a name
    to avoid the Constitutional rule of law requiring Senate approval of treaties .
    If the police stood by and watched a robbery because it was done with a banana instead of a gun
    the person robbed would have recourse because the police failed in their duty to up hold the law .
    Yet half a $Billion dollars is ripped off and the DOJ does nothing , the Senate does nothing ?
    Gee I wonder why Trump got in ?
    The USA Senate is a dead zone for citizens interests . Shame on them .

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