by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) March 29, 2017
The United States has made no decision yet on whether it will continue to participate in the Paris accord on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, the Trump administration said Wednesday.
"The Paris Agreement is still under discussion within the administration," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.
Without once mentioning climate change, President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched an initiative to dismantle his predecessor Barack Obama's plans to limit emissions by coal-fired power plants and other regulations aimed at meeting Paris accord commitments.
During his campaign for the US presidency, Trump vowed that if elected he would scrap US participation in the Paris Agreement.
After his November 8 election, however, Trump has been evasive on the subject, at one point saying he had "an open mind."
His secretary of state, former ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson, told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing that the United States should stay in the agreement, which was reached in Paris in December 2015 after years of negotiations.
"I think it's important that the United States maintain its seat at the table in the conversation on how to address threats of climate change. They do require a global response. No one country is going to solve this alone," he said.
Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Sunday he thought the Paris Agreement was a "bad deal" that would cost US jobs.
State leaders, businesses, take up U.S. low-carbon effort
President Trump moved to revise and overhaul a series of climate regulations enacted by his predecessor in an effort to fulfill campaign promises of further stimulating the domestic energy sector. Legislation signed by the president aims to "clear burdensome and costly regulations" on energy production."
A pro-oil former businessman, Trump has sought to build support around the energy sector. U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said in a statement the president was reversing harmful and "ideologically-driven" policies enacted by former President Obama.
"This common sense action stands to provide clear benefits for the economy, consumers, and the environment," added Barry Russell, the president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, in a statement.
Trump's move was in contrast to action in Europe and Asia. Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner for climate action, said that, while other major economies roll back, the commitment to a low-carbon economy was steadfast.
"In these turbulent times, shared climate leadership is needed more than ever," he said ahead of a visit to Beijing.
Focusing on U.S. efforts to break ties with foreign oil producers, meanwhile, Jack Gerard, the head of the American Petroleum Institute, said Trump's actions were about increasing U.S. competition, improving the domestic economy and advancing natural security interests.
Outside the energy sector, however, companies and local leaders continue to press for alternatives. In the wake of Trump's announcement, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced a commitment to secure 100 percent of the company's purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. In response, the Sierra Club said it is working with business and local leaders that were taking up the mantle in an effort to "lead the transition to clean, renewable energy."
Coal-fired power is on the decline in the United States, and advocacy and industry groups note many of the job gains were coming from the renewable energy sector. Though U.S. oil production is on the rise, governors in states rich in shale touted the benefits of a balanced energy policy.
"We will keep building a clean energy future that creates Colorado jobs, improves our health and addresses the harmful consequences of a changing climate," Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement.
Washington (AFP) March 29, 2017
President Donald Trump declared the end of a "war on coal" Tuesday, as he moved to curb rules that underpin American emissions targets and a major global climate accord. Following through on an election promise, Trump signed an order to review some of his predecessor Barack Obama's climate legacy, declaring an end to "job-killing regulations." In a maiden trip to the Environmental Protec ... read more
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