While in an interview with Fox and Friends, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA,) Scott Pruitt said he thinks that the U.S. should exit the Paris Climate Agreement.
He called the agreement, which was signed by the former President Barack Obama last November, a “bad deal” for America.
“Paris [agreement] is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion,” said Pruitt on the Fox News’ network show. “It’s a bad deal for America,” he continued. “It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.”
This isn’t the first time that Pruitt has referred to the agreement as a “bad deal,” but it is the first time he has expressed that he feels the U.S. should cancel it.
President Donald Trump criticized the deal while on his campaign trail and even promised to cancel it. Last week, he refused to endorse the agreement and has proven time and time again that he plans to keep his promises.
Trump has already removed environmental legislation, including Obama’s climate orders and has cut the EPA’s budget by 31%. His focus instead has been on reviving the coal industry and making the U.S. less dependent on energy from overseas.
“The Trump administration has previously said it is currently reviewing its position on climate change and energy policy and remains noncommittal, for now, on whether it will follow through on the president’s campaign pledge to “cancel” the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Trump’s recent executive order on energy policy, which set in motion the rollback of Obama’s domestic Clean Power Plan, was silent on the matter of Paris,” writes The Washington Post.
However, there have been reports that some member of his advisory team have recommended to keep the deal in place.
“However, reports in March suggested that members of Trump’s senior team were divided over pulling out of the deal, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his own daughter Ivanka advising him not to pull the plug over concerns it would upset major allies,” writes Breitbart
Tillerson’s former company, ExxonMobil, supported the Paris Climate Agreement and wrote “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” in a late March letter to the White House.
“You might’ve read in the media that there was much discussion about U.S. energy policy and the fact that we’re undergoing a review of many of those policies,” said Rick Perry, Energy Secretary on Thursday. “It’s true, we are and it’s the right thing to do.”
Sean Spicer, White House Secretary, said the administration will make a decision in regards to the Paris agreement “by the time of the G7 Summit, late May-ish, if not sooner.”
There has been some speculation that the U.S. will stay in the agreement but revise the U.S. carbon dioxide emissions target to something much more attainable.
“It is looking like we may see them announce that they’re going to stay in Paris and also announce simultaneously that they’re going to revise the U.S. target under Paris to 2025,” said Andrew Light, a senior fellow in the global climate program at the World Resources Institute.
However, influential groups are in support of Pruitt’s call to cancel the Paris accord.
“America’s participation in international climate change programs has wasted taxpayer money and led to questionable and harmful interventions in energy markets through government-backed financial programs, mandates, and heavy-handed regulation,” said the Heritage Foundation.
Two Heritage employees, Stephen Moore and Timothy Doescher recently pointed out the impact these policies have on our coal industry.
They wrote that the climate change promised made by the Obama administration “would effectively decapitate our coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power. If Trump allows this deal to go forward, he will unwittingly fulfill Hillary Clinton’s arrogant and dastardly promise to put every coal miner in America out of a job,” in a recent opinion piece for Investor’s Business Daily. “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.”
Author’s note: It isn’t going to be easy for Trump and his team to decide. He will either continue to piss off environmental groups and even some members of his administration or his plan to revitalize the coal industry could lose some credibility if the U.S. stays in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Pruitt wants to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement signed by Obama, but will the U.S. really pull out?