What line am I checking: while little would change for our climate under the Paris Agreement, our electricity prices would significantly increase
Before fact checking the entire statement I decided to break it into pieces, first looking at “While little would change for our climate under the Paris Agreement” and then looking into if under the Paris Agreement “our electricity prices would significantly increase. I will be using Truth-O-Meter: created by the Tampa Bay Times, in order to determine whether this statement from Donald Trump is truthful or not. Under their criteria I believe that his statement is false.
While it is not clear how Donald Trump came to this statement “little would change for our climate under the Paris Agreement”, the Paris Agreement held the United States accountable to reduce emissions about 25% below 2005 levels. This accountability came with no consequences if that was not met. This goal to reduce emissions was extremely important in order to meeting the limit of only a 2 degree rise. Holding the United States to a certain standard came with the Paris Agreement and we are currently on path to reduce 15% below 2005 standards which is not enough to limit the 2 degree rise but with new reductions in climate change policy we may only reduce 10% below the 2005 standards. Under the Paris Agreement we were held somewhat accountable for climate change and now that we are not under it our reductions will grow beyond what we expected them to, diminishing previous work by Obama to reduce our emissions.
His statement regarding our electricity prices increasing under the Paris agreement raises questions in that it is not clear what will increase. Donald trump defends pulling out of the agreement to create more jobs in the coal industry when really it is not shown that it will do that. Instead there has actually been a decline in the industry due to power people switching to natural gas, whose prices continue to decrease, as well as other renewable sources such as solar and wind energy. With more interest in solar and wind energy those technologies could continue to get cheaper. Trump’s chief economic advisor advised him that pulling out of the agreement will not save the coal industry because it is already being put out of business due to new types of energy. Not joining the agreement we also stopped the United States became further from the idea of using clean coal. Clean coal required the coal companies to come up with sequestration opportunities.
While I would state that Trumps statement is False under the Truth-O-meter, there is ambiguity around this subject. There is no absolute knowing to how the economy will go and whether electricity prices will go up or not. What is hopeful is that while we are no longer apart of the agreement there still continues to be a shift in the industry towards natural gas and solar and wind energy.
Perkins, Madeleine Sheehan. “Here’s how leaving the Paris Climate Agreement would affect the US.” Science, Business Insider, 31 May 2017, www.businessinsider.com/paris-climate-agreement-trump-decision-2017-5. Accessed 8 Sept. 2017.
Staff, NPR. “5 Changes That Could Come From Leaving The Paris Climate Deal.” NPR, NPR, 1 June 2017, www.npr.org/2017/06/01/531056661/5-things-that-could-change-when-the-u-s-leaves-the-paris-climate-deal. Accessed 8 Sept. 2017.
DiChristopher, Tom. “Fact-Checking the energy claims in Trump’s Paris Agreement speech.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 June 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/06/01/fact-checking-the-energy-claims-in-trumps-paris-agreement-speech.html. Accessed 8 Sept. 2017.