ExxonMobil officials told President Donald Trump Tuesday that staying in the Paris climate agreement would reduce climate change and give a boost to natural gas production.
The Paris accord, an agreement signed by President Barack Obama in 2016, is “an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change,” the oil company wrote in a letter to the president. The deal — forged between nearly 200 countries — aims to keep so-called global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
“It is prudent that the United States remain a party to the Paris agreement to ensure a level playing field, so that global energy markets remain as free and competitive as possible,” Peter Trelenberg, Exxon’s manager for environmental policy, wrote in the letter.
The company’s former CEO, Rex Tillerson, indicated last week that he would support the Paris agreement if Trump can reduce some of the objectives Obama agreed to. The former real estate tycoon turned president made breaking away from the climate agreement a key component of his presidential campaign.
Tillerson, who now serves as Trump’s secretary of state, believes staying on board with the contentious climate deal could help the country diplomatically. The former Exxon chairman is not the only person in the administration advocating the president stay in the climate agreement.
North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, for one, said earlier this month that he was “impressed” with White House advisers who believe the agreement is not necessarily dead on arrival. Cramer, a Republican, is one of Trump’s top energy advisers.
The Exxon letter has emerged as Trump prepares to issue a pair of executive orders rolling back several of Obama’s climate policies, especially the so-called Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gasses by 30 percent over the next 10 years.
Exxon has given piecemeal pro-carbon tax arguments in the past, but has recently ramped up its call for the tax, especially as pressure mounts for the company to counter environmentalist claims it is contributing to so-called man-made global warming.
Investigations into the company’s history of supposedly hiding climate research is partially the result of a September report on Exxon conducted by InsideClimate News. The outlet’s probes found Exxon had allegedly played fast and loose with information concerning global warming.
InsideClimate News also alleges that Amoco, Phillips, Texaco, Shell, and others joined Exxon in misleading the public about the supposed effects global warming has on sea levels.
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