Oil conglomerates Exxon Mobil and Shell sided with White House advisers Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, arguing that the United States should stay in the Paris climate agreement.
Senior White House adviser Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt argued against staying in the Paris agreement. On Friday Pruitt said that “we need to exit” the climate treaty.
President Trump dismantled several Obama-era climate policies, including reviewing the Clean Power Plan, and rescinded several other environmental regulations since taking the oath of office.
Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, described spending money on climate change, as a “waste of money.” Energy Secretary Rick Perry stopped the G7 from signing a joint statement endorsing the Paris agreement because the United States had yet to decide whether it would leave the Paris agreement.
On Tuesday, the White House postponed a meeting to discuss whether to leave the Paris agreement; it is unclear when the White House will reschedule the meeting.
The Paris agreement would bind countries to cut greenhouse emissions by on a country-by-country basis. Obama committed the United States to reduce carbon emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025.
Conservatives contend that Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris agreement on the campaign trail and that the political fallout of not withdrawing from the accord would be devastating. Mike McKenna, a conservative energy lobbyist, said, “This is a campaign promise — a specific promise the president made repeatedly. He’s not just going to be able to walk away from it.”
Chris Horner, a senior legal fellow at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, contends that the United States should withdraw from the Paris agreement immediately. Horner explained that America will continue to face international pressure to cut emissions if the United States remains a part of the treaty. He said, “The Paris agreement pressure machine will trigger blowback every time the president, Congress or future administrations deviate from Obama’s emission-reduction promises, hesitate to subsidize green-energy ventures abroad or fail to adopt more stringent targets.”
Critics of the Paris accord warn that environmentalists sue the United States for failing to uphold its pledge to the cut carbon emissions. Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said, “The Paris agreement is designed to undermine American self-government over the long term because the whole point of it is to put the United States inside a political pressure cooker. 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.”