National Politics

Democrats decry Trump's expected withdrawal from Paris climate pact

Decision will be announced this week

Climate decision 'soon'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrats quickly denounced the Trump administration's expected move to withdraw from the Paris climate accord Wednesday, calling it a political decision with grave ramifications for the well-being of the planet.

The decision, which will be announced this week, would put the US at odds with nearly every other nation on earth and will be a major break from international partners that would isolate the United States in global efforts to curb global warming. It would also reflect a major reversal of the Obama administration's efforts on climate change and could trigger further efforts to erode the landmark agreement.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called President Donald Trump's decision "a stunning abdication of American leadership," saying in a statement that pulling out of the pact will result in "a grave threat to our planet's future."

"In walking away from this agreement, the President is denying scientific truths, removing safeguards that protect our health and our environment, protecting polluters and their dirty energy agenda, and threatening our national and global security," she said.

Pelosi added that she believes withdrawing from the pact will have economical ramifications for the US: "Rejecting the pact also sends a strong message to the marketplace to direct innovative, entrepreneurial investments in the clean energy economy elsewhere."

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey from Massachusetts also noted the potential economic disruption, tweeting: "Pulling out of #ParisAgreement is a massive moral, economic & leadership failure for Trump admin. Loss of business, jobs, & intl standing."

Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada went a step further, calling for an explanation from the White House about the ultimate decision to withdraw from the agreement.

"This is short-sighted & ignorant. Congress deserves a detailed explanation from the administration," she tweeted.

Republicans, on the other hand, have so far stayed nearly silent on the reports. Members of the House leadership team have issued no statements or tweets regarding Trump's decision to withdraw from the accord and offered no explanation when reached out to by CNN. Asked why House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy hadn't responded to the reports Wednesday, a spokesman said: "Did the President announce that?"

A spokesperson for Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said his office is withholding a statement until the President issues an official decision.

Hill Democrats weren't the only ones outraged over Trump's expected decision. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped negotiate the agreement, responded to a Twitter user who shared a photo of Kerry signing the agreement at the United Nations with his granddaughter on his lap.

"Will @realDonaldTrump invite his granddaughter to sit on his lap as he signs the EO pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Accord?" the user tweeted, to which Kerry replied: "Good question. But more importantly: billions of grandkids will have to live with this decision, however it lands. Think of them, please."

Trump had waffled on his decision whether to keep the US committed to the landmark 2015 agreement or fulfill his campaign promise to pull out. Wednesday's developments follow a series of delays on the decisions, including shying away from making a firm commitment to slowing down global warming during a G7 discussion in Italy this weekend.

Democrats had been calling on Trump to stay in the agreement, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing last week that 40 Democratic senators had sent the President a letter urging him to honor the US commitment.

"Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement would be a historic misstep that would massively disadvantage both American businesses and diplomats and our environment," Schumer said at a news conference last week.

The next day, 20 GOP members of Congress sent Trump their own letter, asking him to withdraw from the agreement.

"We applaud you for your ongoing efforts to reduce overregulation in America" and saying "to continue on this path, we urge you to make a clean exit from the Paris agreement so that your administration can follow through on its commitment to rescind the Clean Power Plan."


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