Chair Ostrov’s Statement on Governor Ige’s Position on the Paris Climate Accord
When Governor David Ige signed a bill last week that would implement in Hawaii the same measures found in the Paris Climate Accord, just days after President Trump withdrew the United States from that very agreement, he was enthusiastically applauded by the mainstream and liberal press outlets across the country, signaling yet another “first” in a growing movement of so-called “resistance” toward the new administration.
And while Democrats here and in Washington were pumping their fists, sharing high-fives and shaking their tin campaign collection dishes, few in America—let alone here in Hawaii—took any time to truly examine what that might mean for our state. President Trump’s actions toward the Paris agreement were not just the fulfillment of a campaign promise, but a decision made for very good reason.
When the Obama administration committed our nation to the Paris Accord—an action taken without congressional approval—it subjected our taxpayers and economy to a nightmarish new level of unreasonable regulatory requirements and disproportionate financial burdens that would have resulted in stalled economic growth, job loss and an increase in electricity and fuel prices. And the most respected researchers in the country, such as those at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have concluded that for all of the negative consequences of this ill-conceived idea, the sum total of its benefits on the Earth’s temperature and sea levels would have been negligible and nearly non-existent.
Moreover, while countries like the United States would bear the brunt of this agreement’s negative repercussions, countries responsible for creating the greatest amount of pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, like China and India, would remain exempt from the new regulations until 2030. This was a poorly-negotiated deal that unfairly and disproportionately impacted our nation and our people, for little to no benefit, and it should be a concern to all residents of our state that Governor Ige is now following a course of action that could potentially place those same burdens on the people of Hawaii.
Unfortunately, this is not the only example of misguided and potentially dangerous political maneuvering taking place here at home.
In March of this year, the state of Hawaii made national news when (Democrat) Attorney General Doug Chin decided to formally challenge President Trump’s revised travel ban. After appearing on television to deliver a vague and semi-coherent anecdote about being an Asian kid in a predominantly white school and wanting to be “kind” to Muslims and better represent the spirit of Hawaii, Chin—who was not born, not raised and not educated in Hawaii—set in motion a chain of legal actions that would ultimately lead to a federal judge blocking the president’s plan to more effectively vet immigrants from countries identified by the Obama Administration as terrorist havens.
And even as we see terrorist attack, after terrorist attack, after terrorist attack occurring on an almost weekly basis all across Europe—in the same countries that espouse the virtue of having open and unguarded borders and welcome tens of thousands of migrants with little to no requirements for vetting and background checks—the majority of Democrat politicians both here and in Washington are still tripping over each other to jump on Chin’s bandwagon and declare their cities “sanctuary cities,” and decry the notion of a country having a safe and secure border or screening those who enter from some very bad, very dangerous places.
So when politicians like David Ige make national news by designating Hawaii a participant in the Paris Accord and tying our state’s economic future to a treaty conceived in and named after the capital of a country whose political wisdom has also resulted in regularly scheduled public massacres committed by knife-wielding jihadis screaming “Allahu Akbar!” the average local may find such a move perplexing.
However, we at the Hawaii Republican Party are capable of seeing this for what it truly is—nothing more than early campaigning and political grand-standing from a failed and ineffective leader. Much like the recent actions of Doug Chin, flamboyant defiance of President Trump’s agenda is becoming an increasingly popular method of gaining a bit of spotlight for ambitious Democrats who plan to seek public office, or for those worried about losing the offices they already hold.
It is no secret that there exists a burgeoning movement in local Democrat circles to oust Governor Ige in 2018, not unlike the effort four years prior that propelled this little-known legislator who served in obscurity for nineteen years into the office on the fourth floor of the State Capitol. But as we saw nearly a decade ago with then-candidate Barack Obama, the Democratic Party cares very little for actual leadership skills or experience, and that is why the state of Hawaii now finds itself in the precarious predicament of being led from behind by an ineffective leader and weak candidate who relies on empty political theater in a desperate grab for four more years of paid on-the-job training.
Equally precarious and even more troubling is the representation we now have in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, where our elected members of the House and Senate seem to be forever pre-occupied with nonstop self-promotional tours, jockeying for the next job promotion or, as of late, joining the far-left chorus of radical voices in congress desperately attempting to make a baseless case for impeachment. Where they should seek cooperation and collaboration, Democrats increasingly rely on artificial hysteria and fear-mongering rather than substantive and open debate, completely alienating their colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle and achieving absolutely nothing for their constituents.
And now, when our state is faced with such unfolding disasters as the shamefully mismanaged and bankrupt Honolulu Rail Project, the exploding homeless crisis, crumbling infrastructure and we remain in dire need of further federal funding, rather than work collaboratively with the new administration, our representatives and leaders in Washington and Hawaii have placed a higher priority on antagonizing the new president, his staff and agenda to score cheap political points, free publicity and campaign donations for the next election upward.
In the end, these Democrats—who so piously declare themselves champions of the middle class and working families—will have accomplished nothing but to further increase the already exorbitant cost of living in Hawaii, where so many struggle just a paycheck away from losing their homes.
This is what has become of the modern Democratic Party, both in Washington, D.C. and right here at home: a party driven by ideology rather than idealism; a party that places policies over pragmatism; a party that cares little over how actions or legislation might hurt working families and taxpayers if it also succeeds in furthering a radical political agenda; a party that pursues such goals by relying on fear, rather than facts.
We, at the Hawaii Republican Party, are about moving forward. We will champion idealism and pragmatism, and we will always place the working family before a political agenda. We believe in a transparent government kept honest through open debate and the free exchange of ideas. We will place the highest value on facts, and our most steadfast support behind candidates, like President Trump, who will set aside politics as usual and put people first.
We demand that all of our elected officials in Hawaii do the same.