The White House announced Thursday that the United States will be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. The news, delivered by President Trump, marks a decided turn in international climate policy and puts the United States in league with only two other countries: Nicaragua (a country that felt the Paris agreement didn’t go far enough), and Syria.
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“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers,” Trump said.
“We’re getting out,” he added, “but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
Trump campaigned on the promise that he would overhaul the restrictive environmental regulations governing American businesses. And today he has taken a big step in fulfilling that promise.
The decision to leave the Paris agreement has divided many in this country, including members of his own staff. Both Ivanka Trump and Rex Tillerson had been pushing for a continuation of our involvement. They sought to sway policy and opinion from within.
Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, both pushed for withdrawal.
Fans of the decision applaud Trump’s decision to put America first. Even Pence weighed in on the matter in his introduction. “Our president is choosing to put American jobs and American consumers first,” Pence said. “Our president is choosing to put American energy and American industry first. And by his action today, President Trump is choosing to put the forgotten men and women first.”
While the decision has been openly discussed all week, there will be more vocal opposition now that the statement has been made public. There is already strong opposition from many democrats.
Gina McCarthy, Obama’s EPA administrator helped negotiate the agreement. “It’s a disappointing and embarrassing day for the United States,” she said. “This decision makes zero sense from a public health or an economic perspective,” McCarthy continued. “It’s contrary to science and his obligation to protect America’s kids and future generations. It’s contrary to investors and CEOs saying we need to lean in on climate action, not bury our heads in the sand. And it’s contrary to… the vast majority of Americans calling for our country to do more.”