No Paris decision until after G-7 — Spicer

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

President Trump will delay a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement until after the Group of Seven summit in late May, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said yesterday.

Members of the Cabinet and top presidential advisers were set to meet on the issue today but postponed the deliberation, Spicer confirmed.

“I think the president wants to make sure that he has an opportunity to meet with his team, to create the best strategy for this country going forward,” he said.

The president had originally aimed to announce his intentions before the G-7 summit in Italy, which also includes the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany and Japan (E&E News PM, March 30).

Pressure surrounding American commitment to Paris has intensified. Some Trump supporters are making the case for breaking his campaign trail pledge to exit the agreement and instead seek changes. But opponents dispute the legality of that approach, warning it could complicate the White House’s energy agenda.

Spicer would not say whether Trump is open to renegotiating the Obama administration’s pledge to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent under 2005 levels by 2025.

“I think the reason that he’s seeking the advice of his team is to get options and then he’ll pursue the best one, but I’m not going to tell you which one that he’s going to do,” Spicer said.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and top adviser, was reportedly due to meet with U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt today, but that meeting was also postponed.

Online news site Axios reported Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) would participate in the session.

On Capitol Hill, Murkowski told reporters, “Whether you stay in or stay out, I think there are considerations on both sides, and I think that’s what they are wrestling with right now.”

Murkowski hedged on her recommendation to the administration.

“I think that it’s important that we continue to ensure that we have a role in the discussions as to how we face our economic and our environmental issues,” she said. “You know, how this administration best feels that they can advance that, I think that’s what they are wrestling with right now.”

Reporter George Cahlink contributed.