Obama’s plans for Copenhagen accord may violate US Constitution
President Obama’s plan for an international cap-and-trade agreement negotiated at the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference to go into “immediate effect” may violate the United States Constitution, claim representatives of the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition.
Quoted in a Reuters news story today, Obama said, “Our aim is not a partial accord or a political declaration but rather an accord that covers all of the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect.”
“Today President Obama exhibited the arrogance commonly associated with dictators and tyrants,” said Jeff Davis,Â organizer of NoCapAndTrade.com. “It’s hard to believe that a former constitutional law professor could forget that treaties require Senate ratification.”
President Obama made the remarks amid heavy criticism from Europe about the lack of progress in the U.S. toward cap-and-trade legislation and the expected failure of the imminent Copenhagen negotiations.
But such “immediate operational effect” is impossible, said Davis.
“Article II of the Constitution requires that treaties are approved by two-thirds of the Senate, so President Obama can’t just sign-up the U.S. and then start enforcing treaty provisions,” observed Davis. “Additionally, the cap-and-trade bill now in the Senate isn’t anywhere close to having the 60 votes necessary to avoid filibuster â”€ trying to get 67 votes for a climate treaty looks pretty unlikely right now,” Davis added.
President Obama might have been thinking of using the EPA to regulate carbon when he made his statement. The EPA has proposed to designate carbon dioxide as a hazard to the public welfare and to regulate it under the Clean Air Act.
“If President Obama signed an agreement in Copenhagen and then tried to implement it through the EPA and Clean Air Act,” observed JunkScience.com’s Steve Milloy, the President would immediately be at war with Congress, including almost a two dozen Democratic Senators who are concerned about the harm cap-and-trade would do to the economy.”
The German magazine Der Spiegel criticized President Obama this week, asserting he’d been “lying to” and “betraying” Europe in failing to advance cap-and-trade in the U.S.
“President Obama is Europe’s last hope for ensnaring and crippling the U.S. with cap-and-trade,” said Milloy. “His desperate statement today indicates he’s feeling that pressure.”