EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Calls for 'Exit' of Paris Climate Agreement

Posted April 18, 2017

The Obama administration joined the accords a year ago without Senate approval, committing the U.S.to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

"The Paris Agreement is a hard-won achievement which is in keeping with the underlying trend of global development", Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.

In 2015, the USA agreed to the landmark climate treaty known as the Paris Agreement.

According to Politico, Bannon and Pruitt want Trump to withdraw the USA from the agreement, while Kushner and Tillerson stand on the opposite side of the issue.

Trump has effectively defanged the Paris deal by rescinding domestic greenhouse gas regulations, said Richard Reavey, Cloud Peak's vice president of government affairs, so there's little to gain from the USA forfeiting its formal status at the United Nations climate fund after giving $1 billion to it.

As the Trump administration debates whether to stay in the Paris climate agreement, observers are skeptical that opposing wings of the administration will reach a middle ground.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently told reporters Trump would make a decision on the agreement ahead of the Group of 7 leaders' meeting in late May.

Top Trump administration officials are planning to meet next week to try to decide whether the president should seek to exit the Paris climate change agreement.

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Perry, a former Texas governor, at his confirmation hearings in January softened a previous position that the science behind climate change was "phony". Cloud Peak pitches the Paris agreement as a platform for the U.S.to advocate using carbon capture and other high-efficiency, low-emissions technology to generate electricity from coal. The oil and natural gas giant argued the USA slashed its carbon emissions to 20-year lows because of greater use of natural gas, and "this success can be replicated globally" as part of the Paris deal.

In a recent op-ed in Investor's Business Daily, Heritage employees Stephen Moore and Timothy Doescher wrote that following through with the climate change promises made under the Obama administration "would effectively decapitate our coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power".

White House officials who support the Paris accord highlight the lack of repercussions.

"The past administration said we had to choose between the environment and job growth".

The agreement's text specifically allows a country to adjust its greenhouse gas targets if it is "enhancing its level of ambition", but not to reduce promises.

"Either way, there will be blowback from the global community", Hanafi said. Paris opponents plan a deep analysis on those potential legal risks to bolster their case against staying.

Likewise, Tom Pyle, the president of the American Energy Alliance, say corporations want to turn Paris into an agreement they can profit from. That approach has won the endorsement of several major coal companies.