Lawmakers urge Trump to stay in Paris climate deal

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Senate Democrats and even one Republican are urging President Donald Trump to rethink his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The international deal involving nearly 200 countries, which was signed under the Obama administration, promised the U.S. would drastically reduce its carbon emissions by 2025. The Trump administration took the first steps to withdraw this week, fulfilling a campaign promise and saying the deal hurts U.S. businesses.

Environmentalists and lawmakers are urging the president to reverse course.

“I wasn’t shocked. I was disappointed,” Mustafa Ali of the National Wildlife Federation said, calling the decision a step backward. “We’ve got 11 years now to actually begin to make significant change happen and the president is sending a signal to the rest of the world that you don’t have to move as quickly as we have to.”

More than two dozen Senate Democrats and one Senate Republican have introduced a resolution calling on the president to rethink his decision.

“This is literally a critical issue for our planet,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., said.

She said exiting the deal would lead to more catastrophic weather events and ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers billions.

“There’s an urgency. We’re seeing it all around us,” she said. “And frankly, bold action is needed.”

But Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said the Paris deal isn’t the only answer.

“I think by actually incentivizing rather than mandating is the way to do it,” she said, arguing the mandates in the agreement would cost U.S. businesses.

It will take an entire year for the U.S. to officially leave the agreement, which should make it a hot topic throughout the 2020 election cycle.

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