Summary List Placement
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas kicked off Joe Biden’s nascent presidency by attacking his decision to rejoin the Paris climate change agreement — though his choice of metaphor missed the mark.
Biden, who was sworn-in on Wednesday, issued a over a dozen executive orders, including rejoining the Paris climate agreement to reduce emissions. The US is second-largest producer of carbon emissions, following China.
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had pulled out of the deal early in his term.
Cruz claimed in a statement that rejoining the agreement would result in a sustained loss of US jobs, and that “by signing this order, President Biden indicates that he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh.”
“Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement will do little to affect the climate, and will harm the livelihoods of everyday Americans all across the country,” Cruz said.
While France is one of the 195 signatories of the Paris accords, the agreement is an international one that is not particularly designed to appeal to or benefit Parisians.
The 2015 agreement was signed by world leaders in Paris. Similarly, the Geneva Conventions for armed conflict and its treaties originated in Geneva, Switzerland, but involves countries around the world.
As for Pittsburgh, the city has appears comfortable with targeting carbon emissions. It has exceeded its commitment to the Paris accords and already met its 2030 goal of 100% renewable energy for city operations, according to Democratic Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
Trump’s initial withdrawal from the agreement had incensed Mayor Peduto, as well as Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris, prompting the two to write an opinion column announcing “that we’re more united than ever.”
“As Mayor of Pittsburgh, I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. As Mayor of Paris, I was elected to represent the citizens of Paris, not Pittsburgh,” the column said.
“But the only way to do right by Pittsburghers and Parisians is to abide by the principles of the Paris Agreement, which guarantees the future health and prosperity of both of our cities — and every other city in the world,” the two mayors wrote.
Peduto, who has been critical of the Trump presidency, also took note that Cruz was one of the minority group of Republican lawmakers who formally objected to the results of the 2020 US presidential election — an objection that attempted to disenfranchise Pennsylvanian voters, according to the mayor.
But Pittsburgh is part of Allegheny County, where the majority of its residents voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020,
Some Republican lawmakers later went on to object to the counting of the presidential race’s Electoral College votes, raising debunked theories of widespread voter fraud and lending credence to conspiracy theories that have repeatedly been struck down by federal judges.
The objections and comments raised by Republicans like Cruz were critical in fueling the discontent that paved the way for the deadly January 6 riots on Capitol Hill, according to Democratic lawmakers.
“Are you kidding me? Here we go, again …,” Peduto said on Twitter.
Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening.