News & Politics

Tim Kaine: Trump Pulled Out of Paris? He's Jealous of 'Obama Accomplishments'

President Barack Obama clasps hands with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left, and Virginia Democratic Senate candidate, former Gov. Timothy Kaine, right. Friday, July 13, 2012. ( AP Photo/Steve Helber)

On Friday, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tweeted that among the reasons President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris climate change agreement is… Trump’s jealousy of President Obama’s “accomplishments.”

“Why did Trump really walk away from #ParisAgreement? He’s surrounded by science deniers and fossil fuel junkies,” Kaine tweeted. Unsatisfied with this slight on anyone who would dare question the hallowed “scientific consensus” on climate change, he added, “POTUS jealous of Obama accomplishments. But in the end, American innovative spirit is stronger than his insecurities.”

Kaine seems unable to make up his mind. Was it the influence of “science deniers” that pushed Trump out of Paris, or the president’s own “insecurities”? And which of Obama’s “accomplishments” does Trump envy the most? (Probably the ability to manipulate the mainstream media…)

The Paris agreement was never ratified by two-thirds of the Senate, as the Constitution requires for formal treaties. Obama may have led the effort, but like Woodrow Wilson with the Versailles Treaty before him, one U.S. president cannot unilaterally make treaty decisions — the founders intended it that way.

Trump is a jealous man, but to suggest he made this decision out of jealousy is rather low for Kaine. What happened to “When they go low, we go high”?

But this is not the first time Kaine has attacked Trump on the issue.

“Virginians are already dealing with rising sea levels, increasing costs of flood insurance, and more extreme storms,” the senator declared in a statement last month. “In a historic show of unity, Americans joined virtually every other country in pledging reductions to carbon pollution that will make our planet cleaner tomorrow than today.”

He concluded, “I urge the Trump Administration not to turn over America’s international leadership role on climate change and clean energy to China by retreating from our place at the table.”

The senator did add, however, that Americans will continue to push for solutions to climate change without the president. “U.S. private sector, researchers, cities, towns and states will lead clean energy revolution despite lack of leadership from WH & President,” Kaine tweeted.

The private sector pursuing something without the heavy hand of government? What a concept! Perhaps if companies can develop a “greener” alternative to fossil fuels (nuclear energy exists, by the way…), and make wind energy and solar energy cost-effective without government subsidies, then this “clean energy revolution” will really take off, and it won’t mean a loss of jobs or economic growth.

Besides, any climate change regulations should be as local as possible, because it is there that voters have the most impact. If a city or state government invests in a major green energy boondoggle like Solyndra, it is much easier to hold the leaders accountable.

Kaine’s attacks on Trump notwithstanding, the senator is right to call for more local and free market solutions. That way, people can decide for themselves just how much economic growth they are willing to lose to fight climate change.