Republicans Warn Obama to Avoid Climate Commitments

Posted December 4, 2009 at 4:39pm

House Republicans warned President Barack Obama in a letter on Friday that more American jobs could be lost if his administration commits the United States to new emission standards during the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We have several concerns with a binding emissions reduction scheme for the United States including its negative impact on the American economy and specifically for small businesses and the manufacturing and agricultural sectors during these tough economic times,— said the letter signed by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and nearly two-dozen other House Republicans.

“Congress has the sole responsibility to approve such a program and as such we would like clarification that U.S. negotiators will not commit our government to an emissions reduction protocol at Copenhagen,— the letter said. House Republicans wrote that their “grave concerns— were prompted by remarks made by that the administration’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Todd Stern.

Stern — according to the letter — has hinted that he wanted to come to a “political agreement— on the emissions standards while attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference beginning next week.Republicans have been critical of Obama’s decision to attend the conference and have said his efforts would be better focused on finding ways to create jobs.