Rejection of Paris Climate Accord better for America

Michael Covert

Rejection of Paris Climate Accord better for America

One of the reasons I chose to serve on Beaufort County Council is to help create a solid future within our community for younger generations to come. Taxes will be part of their responsibility in no time. I see younger generations now choosing to give back corporately and I see them taking a stand about our environment.

These are important themes, and I'd like to share some thoughts on a current global topic that affects us in our beautiful Lowcountry.

The Paris Climate Accord mainly and subjectively is a gentleman's agreement and really has no bearing on reality. The only ones who will prosper from the Paris Climate Accord will be big corporate America. Current public support for the accord includes Facebook, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, General Mills, Apple, DuPont, Google and Johnson & Johnson, among others.

Am I debating climate change? No. The climate has been changing for billions of years. 500 million years ago the average earth temperature was 71 degrees; 100 million years ago, 68; and currently we are at 61 degrees. ("The Resilient Earth" by scientist Doug Hoffman)

Who would be the big loser? Well, let me introduce you to Joe and Jane America. They are the couple who works two or three jobs just to find and keep "affordable housing" because of the skyrocketing cost-of-living. They struggle to put money away for emergencies, should a washer or dryer break, or the HVAC system need to be replaced.

Let's assume Joe and Jane do have to replace an aging HVAC system. HVAC equipment is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as to its minimally accepted energy efficiency standards, called SEER.

Currently, the minimum EPA efficiency is 14-SEER. The average price for a 3-ton, 14-SEER heat pump system is estimated at $6,500. By signing the Paris Climate Accord, minimum efficiency ratings would rise to 17- or 18-SEER. That same 3-ton heat pump system at 18-SEER will cost approximately $11,300.

It would be a struggle enough for Joe and Jane to come up with $6,500, but now they would have to try and find another $4,800 just because "the rest of the world says so."

Is this Paris Climate Accord something the American public really wants? Is this something the American public can really afford?

I stand with U.S. Senators Tim Scott (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.) and David Perdue (Ga.), among more than 20 others, who have said the Paris Accord is a bad deal for America.

The Paris Accord has some deep flaws mainly because of politics, not science. This decree would wreak havoc on small businesses across this nation. A Heritage Foundation study found that the Paris agreement would increase the electricity costs of an American family 13 to 20 percent annually, and they forecast income loss at an average of $20,000 by 2035.

I care about the environment, and I care deeply about what my grandkids will be inheriting. The problem is: Overburdening the taxpayers is not conducive to a strong economy. The Paris Climate Accord is a prime example of average Joes and Janes paying more and getting less.

Michael E. Covert represents District 7 on Beaufort County Council.