Pruitt Calls for Withdrawal from Paris Agreement
In a one-two punch, the Environmental Protection Agency quietly shut down a federal climate change adaptation office a week before the agency’s director said the U.S. should exit the Paris Agreement.
The four-person federal office helped states adapt to the effects of climate change, like extreme weather and rising sea levels. Now run by climate change denier Scott Pruitt, while the EPA stated it would continue to offer assistance on a local level, the burden of tackling the complicated and costly issue of climate change adaptation now falls squarely on individual states.
Tell that to Louisiana. The state is already losing its battle against coastal erosion due to rising sea levels. Within 50 years, it could lose up to 4,000 square miles of coast—double what scientists predicted five years ago, according to the state’s 2017 coastal master plan. Though the outgoing Obama administration provided some assistance, the state is facing a five-year delay on construction due to permit reviews.
The president’s proposed gutting of the EPA by 31% speaks for itself. Team Trump clearly does not care about the environment or climate change.
“I think the president was fairly straightforward—we’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that,” White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters in March.
Congress must approve Trump’s federal budget proposal. The administration is expected to submit a final, more detailed fiscal year 2018 federal budget proposal mid-May.
Pruitt also recently said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” that he thinks the U.S. should exit the Paris Agreement. “It’s a bad deal for America. It’s an America second, third or fourth kind of approach,” he said in the interview.
As part of the 2015 agreement, the Obama administration promised that the U.S. would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28% below its 2005 levels by the year 2025. Trump’s administration could seek to withdraw from the agreement, or revise the guidelines for the U.S. Under the agreement’s stipulations, it takes three years for a party to withdraw and then there’s a one-year waiting period before it’s a done deal. The agreement is endorsed by 200 countries.
In the meantime, Trump continues to take swings at the Clean Air Act. His new EPA just removed proposed regulatory requirements aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants.