The Trump administration is changing course from the policies of his predecessor in a number of stark ways, perhaps most drastically when it comes to climate change. President Trump boasts that America is once again open for business, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s dismay regarding the Paris climate agreement reflects those sentiments.
“Paris is something that we need to really look at closely,” Pruitt said on a “Fox & Friends” broadcast. “It’s something we need to exit in my opinion… It’s a bad deal for America. It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.”
President Obama had pledged to the globalist community that America would reduce carbon emissions to nearly 30 percent below 2005 levels within a decade. Opponents of the pact believed that these goals would hurt American competitiveness while proponents touted supposed environmental benefits.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, progress in the energy markets is already helping America reach environmental sustainability while maintaining competitiveness. United States carbon dioxide emissions declined from 2005 to 2016 by 14 percent largely due to hydraulic fracturing providing cheap and plentiful natural gas to consumers.
The marketplace may essentially nullify the Paris climate agreement and render it completely pointless, but the Trump administration is still weighing their options.
“You might’ve read in the media that there was much discussion about U.S. energy policy and the fact that we’re undergoing a review of many of those policies,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said to a Texas audience last week according to prepared remarks. “It’s true, we are and it’s the right thing to do.”
A February report by the Wall Street Journal stated Senior Advisor to the President, Jared Kushner, and his wife, the daughter of the President, Ivanka Trump, had stripped words critical of the Paris climate agreement from one of Trump’s executive orders. Given their apparent support for this agreement, it remains to be seen whether they will push back against Pruitt’s remarks, potentially setting the White House up for yet another fight between centrist and conservative elements of the administration.
If the Trump administration does not jettison the agreement altogether, they are expected to revise their pledge to a more reasonable and realistic standard that will not jeopardize American competitiveness.