EPA head Scott Pruitt calls for exit from Paris climate agreement

Geronimo Vena
Aprile 18, 2017

"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.

President Donald Trump's most senior advisers will huddle next week to resolve long-simmering tensions over whether the United States should stay in the Paris climate change agreement, a major point of dispute between the moderate and nationalist wings of the White House, three administration officials told POLITICO.

But Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt says America should rethink its commitment. As Environment America's clean water program director John Rumpler noted Thursday, Pruitt's vision for the EPA and the Trump administration's proposed budget would make it harder for the agency to hold polluters like Consol accountable in the future. It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach.

Bannon and Pruitt are said to be strongly opposed to remaining in the agreement, while Kushner and Tillerson are said to be in favor of staying. "We front-loaded all of our costs".

As part of the deal, the US pledged to reduce its emissions by between 26% and 28% from 2005 levels by 2025. Opponents of the pact believed that these goals would hurt American competitiveness while proponents touted supposed environmental benefits.

But with the Paris accord, China said that, compared to 2005 levels, it would seek to cut its carbon emissions by 60 to 65 percent per unit of GDP by 2030.

One of the most fervent voices pushing the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris agreement, however, has been the conservative Heritage Foundation.

"You might've read in the media that there was much discussion about USA energy policy and the fact that we're undergoing a review of many of those policies", Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in Texas on Thursday, according to prepared remarks. "It's true, we are and it's the right thing to do".

Tillerson's former company, the oil giant ExxonMobil, has also supported the Paris accord, and in late March wrote a letter to the White House reiterating its view that "the United States is well positioned to compete within the framework of the Paris agreement, with abundant low-carbon resources, such as natural gas, and innovative private industries, including the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors".

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