President Donald Trump is planning to fulfill his campaign promise by withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, three sources with direct knowledge of the president’s thinking told Axios.
The president declined to join Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom in committing to the Paris pledge to curb carbon emissions during the G-7 Summit in Sicily last week. Although Trump declined to announce whether or not he would remove the U.S. from the Obama-era agreement while on his first overseas trip as president, he tweeted Saturday, “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!”
“One of the problems we have in government is we let one person have so much power that he could do something that could cost 6 million jobs and nobody gets to vote on it—I think that’s outrageous.”
“President Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to three sources with direct knowledge,” Jonathan Swan and Amy Harder wrote in their Axios report, noting that “publicly, Trump’s position is that he has not made up his mind.”
Should Trump withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it would prove to be one of the most significant steps he possibly could take in dismantling the Obama administration’s stringent environmental policies, which have stifled energy production and hurt American job prospects. The Axios report also noted that a withdrawal would send “a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn’t a priority to the Trump administration.”
In a Friday interview with Breitbart, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blasted the Paris Agreement and urged Trump to withdraw the U.S. from its economic stranglehold.
“I think it would be terrible for our country. We have the potential of losing 6 million jobs, and it would cost $3 trillion,” Paul said. “Really, I don’t think President Obama had the right to do it. He did it by himself without the approval of Congress. One of the problems we have in government is we let one person have so much power that he could do something that could cost 6 million jobs and nobody gets to vote on it — I think that’s outrageous.”
“But I think President Trump has the ability, and he indicated during the campaign that he wanted to get rid of and get out of the Paris accord. So we hope we will,” Paul said. “We have introduced a resolution to send it to the president to encourage him to get out of the Paris accord.”
Indeed, Paul, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and 20 other Republican senators sent a letter to Trump last week urging him to “make a clean break” from the Paris accord in order to implement his ambitious economic policies.
All throughout his presidential campaign, Trump touted the need to harness the tremendous energy potential the U.S. already has to serve American interests, create jobs, and revitalize the economy. As part of that approach, Trump repeatedly denounced the “one-sided Paris climate accord” and other environmental policies and regulations that hinder the country’s growth.
But reports began circling in April that some of Trump’s more moderate and liberal advisers were urging him to remain in the climate change agreement and maintain a seat at the negotiating table. And while Trump met with foreign leaders during his nine-day tour, he was further pressured into conforming to global environmental standards and remaining harnessed to the Paris Agreement.
“The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters last week. “There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not.”
After the Axios report began circulating, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) urged Trump to reconsider his desire to fulfill his campaign promise and remain in the agreement.
“If he does withdraw, that would be a definitive statement from the president that he believes climate change is a hoax,” Graham said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It would be taken as a statement that climate change is not a problem, is not real … So that would be bad for the party, bad for the country.”
Remaining within the agreement, however, would prove to be disastrous to the U.S. economy Trump pledged to revitalize.
“The general consensus from the [2015 Paris summit] was that the use of natural resources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas — which provide 80 percent of the world’s energy needs — should be avoided,” a report from The Heritage Foundation published back in April 2016 read. “Furthermore, industrialized, rich countries should pay for poor countries to build more renewable power and address climate change.”
“In effect, the framework is a push for un-development for the industrialized world and a major obstacle for growth for the developing world,” the report added. “The economic impact of instituting the regulations associated with the Paris agreement will be severe. Policies that restrict the use of carbon-based energy in America will kill jobs and stifle economic growth.”