Trump Administration Could Reverse America's Course On Climate Change

U.S. President Donald Trump | Joe Raedle  Getty Images

Corporate America's support of the Paris agreement on global warming should convince President Donald Trump to follow through with his promise to withdraw from the accords, say former top transition team officials. "It's possible to provide the energy the world needs while also addressing the climate challenge".

Two sources told POLITICO that Pruitt is also concerned that the Paris agreement could harm his legal position as he pushes forward with a repeal of Obama's climate change regulations for power plants.

Since the emissions reduction targets in the Paris agreement are not legally binding, withdrawing from the accord would, in many ways, be a symbolic move - one that's sure to be greeted enthusiastically by the President's core supporters.

The Paris accord, an worldwide agreement to lower carbon emissions, places no emissions-reduction obligations on China and India until 2030, Pruitt stated, adding that all US costs from the agreement are "front-loaded".

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On one side are chief strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who want the United States to back away from the agreement. 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.

That's a tack advanced in a letter to Trump, previously reported on by E&E News, by North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who argued that "the USA should present a new pledge that does no harm to our economy", one that would highlight "the importance of baseload power generation, including highly efficient and low emission coal-fired and nuclear power plants".

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. In light of the recent actions, what previous policies will remain and what will change?

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.

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"The coal industry was almost devastated by years of regulatory overreach, but with new direction from President [Donald] Trump, we are helping to turn things around for these miners and for many other hardworking Americans", he said.

They added, "We can't help wondering if the thousands of university professors, environmental activists, climatologists and government bureaucrats would be so enthusiastic if it were their jobs that were going to be eliminated". And, what is a politically viable USA climate policy in the long-term?

"Either way, there will be blowback from the worldwide community", Hanafi said. "The coal companies and oil and gas companies that are flirting with the Paris agreement don't understand the existential threat that they're buying into".

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