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Grothman Op-Ed: Paris Climate Agreement Would Have Hit Sixth District Particularly Hard

When President Trump announced on Friday that he is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, I was relieved for the manufacturers and small businesses in Wisconsin’s Sixth District.

The Paris climate agreement was a bad deal for all Americans, but would have hit Wisconsin’s Sixth District particularly hard.

We have the most manufacturing jobs of any congressional district in the U.S. If our country had continued to participate in the climate agreement, it would have cost the U.S. 440,000 manufacturing jobs and 2.7 million jobs in total.

At best, the climate agreement was a wealth redistribution program that imposed hefty costs on American families, and focused far more on handouts to other countries than actually protecting the environment.

The truth is: our environment is far cleaner today than it was 40 years ago.

Air quality has mostly improved. For example, there have been substantial decreases by 84 percent in concentrations of carbon monoxide and 99 percent in concentrations of lead in our air from 1980 to 2015, while emissions of air pollutants have also decreased.

Additionally, ozone levels have dropped dramatically. Nationally, they’ve decreased by 32 percent since 1980, and by 13 percent in the upper Midwest since 2000.

Furthermore, if President Obama was serious about the U.S. continuing its involvement in the Paris agreement past his presidency, he should have had Congress ratify it as a treaty.

A non-binding agreement, entered into swiftly and carelessly without congressional approval, is simply not the answer. Innovation in manufacturing and other industries -- not government interference -- is a far better way to ensure that our environment remains clean and safe for future generations while preserving our jobs.


U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his second term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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