Trump targets Paris climate deal

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is vowing to renegotiate last year’s landmark Paris climate agreement if elected.

In an interview with the Reuters news service yesterday, Trump said the deal treats the United States unfairly. Even though the billionaire magnate has clashed with members of his own party, his comments on Paris are in line with GOP orthodoxy.

League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in response: “This is another example of Trump’s dangerous lack of judgment and the very real impacts it could have for all of us. Trump now not only denies the science of climate change, but also the politics and economics of it.”

Karpinski added: “Fortunately, Trump’s rhetoric is not going to stop the Paris agreement, nor should it given the benefits of action and the costs of ignorance.”

Trump did not offer additional details of his climate plans but also vowed to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial regulations overhaul signed into law in 2010.

His comments follow last week’s tweet promising not to support a carbon tax — a policy prescription that Trump energy adviser Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) sees in a more positive light (E&ENews PM, May 13).

Trump’s views on energy and many other policy areas remain a work in progress. He told Reuters yesterday that he would outline details of his economic views within weeks.

Two Republican senators who attended last week’s meeting with Trump on Capitol Hill indicated yesterday there was some discussion of energy with the candidate.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said she broached Trump’s comments on reviving coal jobs.

“It was more in the context of getting people back to work, and certainly in my state,” she told E&E Daily. “It was a pretty generalized discussion, quite frankly, we didn’t really get too specific.”

Capito said she was encouraged by the encounter.

“I think by coming to West Virginia and the regions highly affected by the downturn in the coal industry, he understands, and I think he’s able to translate that frustration,” she said. “And so I’m encouraged by that because I can’t seem to get through to the administration on that.”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said he was pleased by what he heard on energy at the meeting.

“We talked about the need for all energy sources, that energy is a master resource for a reason, it helps power our economy, power our military, and we need to use the resources that we have,” he said in a brief interview.

Meanwhile, Republicans yesterday signaled their willingness to support Trump despite their past unease with his nomination.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus who had strongly opposed Trump in the primary and even met with groups aiming to halt his nomination, said he now has no choice but to back him.

“I may not be able to trust Mr. Trump to do the right thing, but I most certainly can trust Mrs. Clinton to do the wrong thing every time,” said Franks. “So it’s an easy equation for me, Mr. Trump is without a doubt the one that all conservatives and Americans should vote for if they have any concern for this country’s future.”

Franks said he hoped as a general election candidate and potential president Trump would be “open to reason.” He called his support not false unity, but “well-considered reality.”

Franks said he would do anything within ethical bounds, including fundraising and campaigning, to help Trump win the White House.

Reporter George Cahlink contributed.