Why I Side With CEI’s Myron Ebell on Tillerson Claims

Myron Ebell, a libertarian policy hero and the environmental chief of the Competitive Enterprise Institute struck a chord with me when he characterized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as being a part of the “swamp” of the beltway. And, frankly, I agree with him.

Before we go on any further, I went to the national stage to advocate for the confirmation of Secretary Tillerson during his contested confirmation phase. This is also the case for many of my conservative and libertarian brothers and sisters who sought out an accountable and steadfast diplomat to negotiate on our nation’s behalf.

Though I am not doubting his conviction for serving his purpose as a good servant to the American people and the country’s foreign policy.

Regardless of where and how he said it, Ebell’s challenge leads me to point out some key points regarding Tillerson that make me squirm.

All Tillerson views his position as is a position to just go through the motions with. Citing my (pretend) colleagues at the Washington Examiner, they point out that Secretary Tillerson seeks to just participate in the traditional diplomatic dance that lends no progress for the American people, or the international community, as an end result.

Rather than remaining firm and executing the Administration’s campaign promises to back out of the Paris Climate Deal, the defining component of Ebell’s remarks, he wants to let soft diplomacy work its magic. It isn’t that simple.

Tillerson, as of late, is characterizing himself as a diplomat only interested in soft power moves when it comes to policy areas like the environment. Despite this, the Secretary of State has to be a force of not just soft, attractive power but a mixture infusing elements of a hard-nosed defender of the American interest.

In this case, in my opinion, it is the American interest to remove the country from international climate change compacts that do nothing but assert foreign regulatory power on the American free markets.

I am going to make some “yuge” comments here. Putting America first is also putting her economic interests before those of a collective of countries that are mere minnows of power (except China, and Russia, and maybe some European countries).

Without getting too much into the debate on free, or even fair, elements of trade, Tillerson needs to grow a pair and execute plans that don’t harm our nation’s ability to be energy independent. He also needs to take a bow out of the many climate organizations the United States is a member of. The end result is always an unfair and uneven relationship with the majority of the funding for these intergovernmental organizations coming from the pockets of the American taxpayers.

International relations shouldn’t be so costly. Well, I digress.

My end argument is merely what I am going to echo from before: Tillerson, grow a pair and be approachable but steadfast to our foreign neighbors. We don’t need foreign control of our environmental policy and your inaction is paving the way for more control.

Michael McGrady is the executive director of McGrady Policy Research. His work has been featured, republished and/or cited by media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, The New York Post, The Daily Caller, Human Events, The Hill, and many others.

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