Washington, D.C. – The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology today held a hearing to examine the various scientific and policy issues surrounding the United States commitment to a United Nations-led effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The president has pledged that the United States will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 28 percent over the next decade and by 80 percent or more by 2050. The pledge was made in preparation for the U.N. meeting now underway in Paris, which seeks to produce an international agreement that would impose legally binding requirements on the United States for decades to come.

Chairman Lamar Smith: “The cornerstone of this administration’s climate pledge reduction, the so-called Clean Power Plan, will do nothing to meet the president’s pledge. Moreover, this regulation will cost billions of dollars, cause financial hardship for American families, and diminish the competitiveness of American employers, all with no significant benefit to climate change. The U.S. pledge to the U.N. is estimated to prevent only one-fiftieth of one degree Celsius temperature rise over the next 85 years! Incredible! This would be laughable if it weren’t for the tremendous costs it imposes on the American people.

“The administration’s alarmism and exaggeration is not good science and intentionally misleads the American people. The president’s pledge to the U.N. would increase electricity costs, ration energy and slow economic growth. The president's plan ignores good science and only seeks to advance a partisan political agenda.

The president should come back to Congress with any agreement that is made in Paris.”

Dr. Bjørn Lomborg testified today that taken together, all of the nations’ pledges for the Paris climate conference would ultimately reduce global temperature increases by less than 0.05°C by 2030. And even if promised reductions were continued for the following 70 years, Dr. Lomborg said the reduction in temperature increases would be just 0.17°C by 2100.

Mr. Oren Cass testified that President Obama’s climate pledge places the U.S. in a disastrous long-term position in exchange for a short-sighted political victory. In addition, Mr. Cass testified that Obama’s legacy will be one where Americans will incur costly expenses under the Clean Power Plan to fulfill the president’s international pledge.

Mr. Andrew Grossman testified on the various constitutional and legal issues associated with any promises made by President Obama at the Paris Climate Change Conference.  He also asserted that Congressional approval is needed for the pledge to have legal force.

The following witness testified today:

Mr. Oren Cass, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Mr. Andrew Grossman, Associate, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute

Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, President, Copenhagen Consensus Center