Friday, June 2, 2017

The Think Tank That Destroyed the Paris Climate Agreement

A little-known US think tank has played an outsized role in encouraging the Trump Administration to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

Here is more from Axios:
The non-profit Competitive Enterprise Institute played a big role in rallying outside conservative groups.  An administration source says CEI was "the energy" and "enabled the issue to stay high profile in the White House for months."  CEI marshaled a coalition letter of influential outside groups, and helped generate the letter from the 22 Republican senators — including Mitch McConnell — that gave Trump crucial ammo.

Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at CEI, and the leader of Trump's transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently said that the Trump Administration is moving too slowly to unravel climate change regulations.

Ebell correctly noted that Trump would pull out of the deal before the official announcement was made.  Here is CEI's statement commending Trump on pulling out of the agreement.

Here is a CEI statement on why the Paris agreement "is all pain and no gain" for Americans.

Here are some more tidbits about CEI's influence from The Daily Caller:

In early May, the heads of 44 free market groups sent a letter to Trump, urging him to withdraw from the agreement.  The coalition was led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
In May, CEI launched an online petition and ad campaign to remind Trump of his campaign promise to withdraw from the Paris accord, and AEA circulated another petition calling for Trump to withdraw from the agreement.
CEI senior fellows Chris Horner and Marlo Lewis published a report detailing the legal risks of remaining in the accord.  CEI’s Myron Ebell, who headed Trump’s EPA transition team, was also public about his opposition to the Paris agreement.

CEI has also been a big defender of EPA chief Scott Pruitt, and was among the groups that supported his nomination.

According to the latest publicly available Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records, CEI has 33 employees, annual revenue of around $7.4 million, and net assets of around $2.4 million.

In related news, the president of the conservative think tank Heartland Institute was among those invited to the White House climate announcement.

In more related news, the Heritage Foundation says that it impacted Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.