Communities Across the Country Denounce Trump’s Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement
June 2, 2017
“Yet for American businesses, Trump’s priorities — his pledges to bring back coal jobs, or to exit the accord — may not matter much. Look at DTE’s announcement last month that it would plan obsolescence for its coal plants, and cut its carbon emissions 80% by 2050, despite Trump’s March rollback of more stringent carbon standards put in place by Obama.
“In most realms of government action, it’s difficult for any chief executive to do lasting damage to the country, a deliberate system of checks and balances devised by founding fathers chary of a capricious king. Climate change is a notable exception. Every year lost to inaction is time we — our children, our grandchildren, and our planet — will never get back.”
“Larry Schweiger, a sixth-generation Pittsburgher and president and CEO of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, a statewide environmental organization, also made the point that the president’s reading of what Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers want fails to take into account not only its recent greening but also its historic leadership in the battle for clean air and water. ‘None of what the president did works for me. The thing he’s missing here is that addressing the causes of climate pollution is not a job killer, it’s a job creator. Pittsburgh has always led the way on these issues, from smoke control to green energy, and to retreat into the dark days of the past just isn’t going to work. That’s not the Pittsburgh I know.’”
“When asked to respond, Mayor John A. McNally, a Democrat, said: ‘Nothing about the U.S. withdrawal would seem to indicate any form of job creation for the city of Youngstown. The Trump administration has never discussed how the withdrawal would better the lives of Youngstown residents. So while it’s nice to hear our city’s name, there is no substance to the thought of putting us with other cities before Paris.’”
“One benefit of the agreement was the priority it set for clean coal research and development and the administration’s decision to withdraw does raise questions over whether industry will be able to get the federal funding it plans to seek for that research, according to Bohrer.”
“John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, said the state’s agricultural base will suffer if excessive heat and prolonged drought make irrigation unsustainable. ‘Ignoring the existence of the problem is not being a responsible member of the world community. What he did was completely at the expense of future generations.’”
“Coastal states like Florida, where rising sea levels are already threatening streets, public utilities, private property and the drinking water supply, are put particularly at risk. The global community should move ahead and wait out the Trump administration. But for the United States, this is another depressing step away from leadership in the world — and realities of a changing climate and economy at home.”
“As President Trump withdraws, this state must move ahead. His decision to dump a global agreement to curb climate change heightens the critical role that California plays in meeting the planet’s top environmental problem. Trump’s move, delivered in blunt and unapologetic terms, made it clear he has no interest in the Paris accords reached in 2015 to limit rising global temperatures. His disastrous action will undercut U.S. leadership around the world, chill a growing green economy and worsen chances to head off climatic disruption.”
“Furthermore, big energy businesses have been factoring climate change into their business plans for years. On Wednesday, Exxon shareholders, for instance, sent a strong message to company officials to do the same.
“Although Texas has its reputation as an oil capital, it and other states that voted for Trump, actually lead the nation in wind power. Texas produces more wind energy than the next three states combined. And its use of solar power is on the rise.”