EPA's Scott Pruitt: Try To Reduce Emissions? No Way
- Daisy Evans
Trump's advisers and Cabinet officials hope to be able to reach consensus on a recommendation to the president, though that could prove hard.
"That may be a winning strategy for the executives at Exxon and other companies, but not for the USA economy as a whole", Pyle said. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc also have endorsed the pact.
"There's no way to square this circle", said McKenna, who supports a full-fledged exit from the Paris agreement. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said the company remains "strongly in favor" of the agreement. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and coal producer Cloud Peak Energy are among those asking for that outcome. The other advisers have yet to take an official stance.
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.
Trump is nearing a decision on whether he will fulfill repeated pledges to withdraw the US from the carbon-cutting pact he previously derided as "bad for USA business".
Environmental groups want Washington to remain in the Paris agreement, even if the new administration weakens USA pledges.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last month that Trump would decide a course of action on Paris by the Group of Seven meeting in late May.
Not every energy executive is on board.
"It's a bad deal for America", he continued.
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".
Supporters have argued that remaining in the pact would maintain goodwill with worldwide trading partners, facilitating USA energy exports, including expanded sales of liquefied natural gas overseas. The Clean Power Plan predates the Paris deal and was not legally based on any worldwide commitment.
Trump has already taken steps to roll back Obama-era restrictions on Carbon dioxide emissions, including signing an executive order to rescind a moratorium on coal mining on federal lands and direct agencies to remove obstacles to American energy production.
Perry, a former Texas governor, at his confirmation hearings in January softened a previous position that the science behind climate change was "phony".
The White House is expected to announce their decision on the Paris deal at the G-7 meeting in Italy at the end of May.
The Obama administration had promised the world that the United States would reduce its emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below its 2005 levels by the year 2025. It is not legally binding and there are no formal sanctions in place for failure to comply. The White House did not confirm on Monday that the meeting would happen.
Trump can't pull the US out of the worldwide pact immediately, though he could begin a four-year process of withdrawing.
McKenna said a carbon tax seemed to be the only possible change to the U.S.'s commitments that would make them more ambitious and could also be construed as better for the economy. That's now an insurmountable political hurdle.
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. But he added, "look, these guys are unpredictable, and I don't think we can know". "Why would the US give up the opportunity to stay at the table, even if it's just to tell everybody they're wrong?" And, what is a politically viable USA climate policy in the long-term?
The U.S. has a unique opportunity to disentangle itself from the accord now - while Trump is a new president and the deal itself is in its infancy. Multi-national corporations, like Exxon, want to avoid diplomatic blowback and no doubt see it as a boon to their natural gas holdings.
By contrast, he said, remaining in the deal would ensure a constant cycle of worldwide criticism because countries have committed to a new round of carbon-cutting commitments every five years. The country said it expects such funding to create roughly 13 million jobs, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and lessen the smog that has long plagued Beijing and other Chinese cities. Paris opponents plan a deep analysis on those potential legal risks to bolster their case against staying.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, progress in the energy markets is already helping America reach environmental sustainability while maintaining competitiveness. That approach has won the endorsement of several major coal companies.
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