Valley congressman says pulling out of Paris agreement a good decision

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Valley Congressman Bill Johnson said American consumers will see stable energy prices now that the Trump Administration has decided to withdraw from the two-year-old Paris Climate Agreement.

Johnson says the treaty reached during Barack Obama’s presidency put America at a disadvantage by forcing the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while allowing countries such as China and India to increase their own use.

“The agreement puts countries like America that uses fossil fuels at a disadvantage,” Johnson said.

The decision to withdraw from the agreement makes the U.S. one of only three countries to do so.

Johnson claims the Paris agreement forces the U.S. to rely on more expensive, alternative energy sources, driving up prices for consumers.

“If we are not using coal-fired energy; if we are not using natural gas, you are talking about staggering increases in utility prices,” Johnson said.

And while coal companies have been on the decline in recent years, Johnson insists the industry isn’t dead yet. He said advancements in technology will ensure that coal is utilized in an environmentally sound way.

Experts in the U.S. energy industry suggest current economic forces are already driving the market toward cleaner-burning, less expensive natural gas from areas like the Utica and Marcellus Shale deposits, which would then be used in electric-generating plants like the new Lordstown Energy Center.