With insiders predicting Donald Trump’s senior advisers will aim to decide whether the United States will stay a part of the Paris climate agreement or not by Tuesday, a growing number of unlikely climate allies have arisen, including Washington’s new power-couple, JIvanka, as well as officials from fossil fuel companies such as Exxon and Shell.
Politico reported last week that three Trump administration officials had revealed senior advisers would seek to resolve the question of whether the United States would remain a part of the Paris climate agreement, possibly by as early as Tuesday (today). The question has been up in the air for some time now, with promises both one way or the other from Trump and his advisers. According to Politico, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon are all expected to be weighing in on the discussion.
There is obviously a strong contingent of advisers within Trump’s hearing that are well and truly against the Paris agreement — whether for political reasons, such as Bannon and Stephen Miller — or those who are against any action based on the concept of halting climate change and global warming — such as Scott Pruitt. However, over the last few weeks a growing body of evidence has suggested there is a pro-Paris agreement bloc within the Administration, including Trump’s own daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.
Not to be outdone, however, according to Bloomberg, oil and coal producers have similarly entered the fray, in support of the Paris agreement. Bloomberg quotes from a letter from Cheniere Energy, a leading liquefied natural gas exporter, solicited by White House energy adviser G. David Banks:
“Domestic energy companies are better positioned to compete globally if the United States remains a party to the Paris agreement,” Cheniere wrote. The accord “is a useful instrument for fostering demand for America’s energy resources and supporting the continued growth of American industry.”
Bloomberg also reported that Exxon Mobil Corp — which was previously led by now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and BP Plc, as also having endorsed the Paris agreement. Tillerson himself has also advocated remaining with the Paris agreement.
In response to the anticipated discussions to be held this week, 350.org Executive Director May Boeve issued a statement similarly encouraging remaining with the Paris agreement:
“An overwhelming majority of people in the United States support staying in the Paris agreement. It’s one of the animating reasons why so many people are joining the Peoples Climate March this April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country. As the Trump administration deliberates isolating the US from the rest of the world, movements for climate, jobs and justice are mobilizing to continue to build bold solutions that protect our communities and tackle climate change. We know this deal is critical to defending our climate and communities — this is about our very survival.”
Sierra Club Global Climate Policy Director John Coequyt also issued a statement last week:
“Weakening our commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon pollution would not just be disastrous for the health of our families and our planet, but for our ability to work with other countries to grow our economy and secure our nation. The world expects the United States to keep its promises, and the consequences of breaking promises on climate are the same as in other critical areas of international concern.”
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