A group of 22 top Republicans senators, including majority leader Mitch McConnell urged President Trump Thursday to make good on his campaign promise and pull out of the Paris climate accord—a global pact aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
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In a two-page letter sent to the White House, GOP senators said that remaining in the agreement could fuel legal challenges to the adminstration’s push to roll back environmental regulations.
"Because of existing provisions within the Clean Air Act and others embedded in the Paris Agreement, remaining in it would subject the United States to significant litigation risk that could upend your Administration's ability to fulfill its goal of rescinding the Clean Power Plan. Accordingly, we strongly encourage you to make a clean break from the Paris Agreement,” the group wrote.
A majority of the senators who signed the letter are from states that depend on the continued burning of coal, oil, and gas. Those senators include Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who, like Trump, has doubted scientific data that suggest global warming is due to man-made carbon emissions.
During Trump’s presidential campaign, he vowed to his supporters to “renegotiate” the 194-nation agreement. However, since taking office, his top officials have appeared to be divided on the issue.
Earlier this week, during a visit to Rome, Pope Francis also urged Trump to take climate change seriously and gave him a book to read on the topic. Additionally, this week, over forty Democratic Senators sent Trump a letter of their own urging him to stay in, saying a withdrawal would hurt America’s credibility and influence on the world stage.