ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") voted to advance a Notice of…
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CFIF Applauds FCC Vote to Advance NPRM to Restore Internet Freedom

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") voted to advance a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal championed by Chairman Ajit Pai and Commisser Mike O'Reilly that would return federal internet regulatory policy to the light-touch approach that prevailed from the 1990s onward, until the Obama Administration FCC moved to reclassify the internet as a "public utility" in 2015.

In response, Center for Individual Freedom ("CFIF") Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs Timothy Lee issued the following statement:

"Beginning in the 1990s, the internet flourished and transformed our world like no innovation in history for a simple reason:  Administrations of both political parties over two decades, beginning…[more]

May 18, 2017 • 12:36 pm

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Time to End the Paris Accord Charade Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, May 18 2017
Disturbingly, some within the Trump Administration favor remaining a party to the Paris agreement, rationalizing that we can negotiate from a position of strength if we remain at the table. But that would legitimize the accord, and also extend economic uncertainty for entire industries.

Taking climate alarmists at their word, shouldn't the earth be uninhabitable by now? 

Here's what climate hysteria godfather Paul Ehrlich solemnly predicted in 1974: 

We are rapidly applying intolerable pressures on the planet at the same time we're seriously undermining the earth's ability to withstand those pressures.  Unless we change our ways immediately - and I see no signs that we will - we're headed straight into catastrophe...  The world will not enjoy weather as good again for another 100 decades. 

"I would take even money," Ehrlich predicted even earlier, "that England will not exist in the year 2000." 

Back then, of course, the alarmists' concern was global cooling, not global warming. 

Global warming eventually replaced global cooling as the fashionable panic, but its own doomsday predictions proved no more accurate.  For example, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, alarmists assured us that we'd entered a period of increasing hurricane frequency and severity due to global warming. 

What happened instead was the exact opposite.  We've now gone a record twelve years without a major hurricane hitting the U.S.

But never mind those realities.  "Global warming" simply became "climate change" when the accumulating data proved inconvenient and its climate models inaccurate.  The international climate hysteria industry simply shifts its rhetoric and continues unabated. 

Those who benefit monetarily or in terms of self-congratulation from climate hysteria continue to hold global summits, and concoct treaties that will achieve no substantive effect on the ever-changing climate, but will impose enormous cost in terms of lost jobs and crippling of entire industries and economies. 

Remember the Kyoto Protocol?  The Clinton Administration attempted to impose its mandates upon the U.S. economy, but the Senate intervened with a 95-0 vote rejecting it. 

Then in 2015 came another attempt in the form of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, commonly known as the Paris Agreement.  An Obama Administration indifferent to the cost in American jobs and economic growth happily signed, but never submitted it to the Senate for ratification. 

Which presents a ripe opportunity for more swamp-draining by the Trump Administration. 

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump committed to withdraw from the Paris accord, and to cease American taxpayer subsidy of United Nations global warming boondoggles.  Then at a rally marking his first 100 days in office, he restated those intentions while highlighting the destructive impact it will have upon our economy and jobs. 

Trump's concerns are well-founded.  By signing the Paris accord, the Obama Administration committed the U.S. to reducing carbon emissions by a staggering 17% below 2005 levels by the year 2020, and by 26%-28% by 2025.  In ensuing five-year periods, the U.S. must continue similar reductions into perpetuity. They also committed the U.S. to unreasonable automobile standards, new mandates for our construction and manufacturing industries and new handcuffs on American energy exploration and production. 

The Paris treaty would also mean more artificially terminated jobs in the coal industry, which in just a few short months under Trump has reversed years of decline and actually added jobs as he promised.  It will also cost jobs in other parts of our energy sector, and bring more federal spending boondoggles like Solyndra. 

Naturally, environmental extremists are already preparing to sue the Trump Administration to prevent withdrawal.  Their arsenal now includes the claim that the Paris treaty somehow binds the U.S. to its destructive mandates, even though it was never ratified.  Liberal state attorneys general have announced that the aim of their lawsuits is "ensuring that the promises made in Paris become reality."  Never mind the economic and employment costs. 

It's therefore critical that Trump submit the Paris agreement to the Senate for ratification or rejection pursuant to the Constitution.  Not only would that reverse the Obama Administration's arrogant habit of unilateral executive action, it would honor our system of checks and balances as our Founding Fathers intended.  It would also set a restorative precedent for future administrations after years of Obama Administration abuse. 

The Trump Administration should also withdraw from the underlying U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  Doing so would simultaneously honor his campaign commitment to "stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs," and signal to the world that we're no longer willing to sacrifice American jobs, growth and energy independence to the whims of bureaucrats in Brussels and activists in Stockholm. 

Failing that, the Trump Administration will be left with the painstaking process of repealing Obama Administration environmental regulations item-by-item.  Not only would that entail needless bureaucratic hurdles and time, but it would also implicitly accept Obama's charade that the Paris accord was merely an executive agreement, not an actual treaty. 

Disturbingly, some within the Trump Administration favor remaining a party to the Paris agreement, rationalizing that we can negotiate from a position of strength if we remain at the table.  But that would legitimize the accord, and also extend economic uncertainty for entire industries.  Moreover, there's no guarantee that other nations party to the Paris treaty would negotiate in good faith with Trump or accept U.S. demands, or that future liberal presidents wouldn't further extend its authority over Americans and our economy. 

Withdrawal offers the additional benefit of solidifying Trump's political base, at a time when he needs all the support he can get.  Betraying them and reversing his campaign promise, in contrast, would demoralize and alienate those who remain on his side. 

Regardless of the political benefits, however, the merits of the issue demand withdrawal from the Paris accord.  American manufacturers, energy producers, consumers and the broader economy simply shouldn't remain subject to this corrosive and constitutionally dubious environmental activist cabal. 

Question of the Week   
Who was the first U.S. President to travel abroad while serving in office?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"While it's impossible to predict any given terror attack, there are two laws of terrorism that work together to guarantee that attacks will occur, and they'll occur with increasing frequency. First, when terrorists are granted safe havens to plan, train, equip, and inspire terror attacks, then they will strike, and they'll keep striking not just until the safe havens are destroyed but also until…[more]
 
 
—David French, National Review
— David French, National Review
 
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