Trump Administration Could Reverse America's Course On Climate Change

Trump Administration Could Reverse America's Course On Climate Change

Trump Administration Could Reverse America's Course On Climate Change

President Donald Trump's top environment official called for an "exit" from the historic Paris agreement Thursday in what appeared to be the first time such a high-ranking official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by almost 200 countries to fight climate change.

Politico on Friday first reported a possible meeting of Trump advisers.

A White House official said Trump's aides would "discuss the options, with the goal of providing a recommendation to the president about the path forward".

A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"The United States made more substantial commitments - which the Trump administration is abandoning - because the United States, on a per capita basis, is a much bigger polluter than either country", the Washington Post Fact Checker said. Defenders of the EPA rule to limit carbon emissions from power plants have not invoked the Paris agreement in their legal arguments to defend it. Given their apparent support for this agreement, it remains to be seen whether they will push back against Pruitt's remarks, potentially setting the White House up for yet another fight between centrist and conservative elements of the administration.

Pruitt has been outspoken in his opposition. "It's something we need to exit in my opinion..."

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"Finally.Pruitt's decision to extol the virtues of a coal mine flies in the face of everything we know about the science of climate change and the economics of energy policy", Rumper added.

Kushner is one of the main proponents of the pact, along with Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp.

Amid this uncertainty, the statement aligns Pruitt with a more hard-line approach held by some in the Trump administration, such as Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, rather than the more moderate take of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had said in his confirmation hearing that the USA should have a "seat at the table" in the Paris negotiations, and Ivanka Trump and her husband and Trump confidant Jared Kushner.

Some argue not pulling out the Paris agreement would be largely symbolic, since Trump's already begun to roll back Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and coal producer Cloud Peak Energy are among those asking for that outcome.

The accord, agreed upon by almost 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Since the emissions cuts are not binding, Obama never submitted it for Senate ratification as a treaty, something that would have been almost certain to fail.

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