Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, intervened to get a pending executive order stripped of language critical of an international climate agreement signed by President Barack Obama.
Kushner and Ivanka “intervened to strike language about the climate deal from an earlier draft of the executive order,” sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Ivanka and her husband “have been considered a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate change and environmental issues,” WSJ reports. Now, the executive order will have no mention of the so-called Paris agreement.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign two executive orders in the coming days to begin dismantling Obama’s Climate Action Plan and other costly environmental regulations. The orders reportedly target the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a moratorium on new coal mining leases, and the “Waters of the U.S.” rule.
Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris agreement and stop global warming payments to the U.N. while on the campaign trail. But Trump’s opposition to Obama’s climate agenda seems to be running up against his daughter’s plans.
WSJ noted the “move is the latest sign of influence Mr. Trump’s daughter and Mr. Kushner have in a White House that has seen internal divisions on a variety of issues, including foreign policy.”
A source close to Ivanka told Politico in December she “wants to make climate change — which her father has called a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese — one of her signature issues,” adding that “Ivanka is in the early stages of exploring how to use her spotlight to speak out on the issue.”
Ivanka and her father both met with former Vice President Al Gore, a global warming crusader, just days after Politico’s report. It’s unclear what was discussed at Trump Tower that day.
Nearly 200 nations signed onto the the U.N. agreement in Paris in 2015. The agreement went into effect in November, and Obama unilaterally committed to cut U.S. emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
Trump may also be receiving pressure to stay in the Paris agreement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing he thought the U.S. should keep their seat at the negotiating table.
Tillerson backed a carbon tax while CEO of ExxonMobil.
If Trump kept the U.S. in the Paris agreement, it would likely be a symbolic gesture. One of the executive orders Trump is expected to soon sign requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw the CPP.
The Obama administration saw the CPP as its main tool to comply with the Paris agreement. The EPA estimates the CPP would have cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 32 percent by 2030.
The CPP is one of several EPA rules being challenged by dozens of states in federal court. The Supreme Court issued a stay against the CPP in 2016, but an executive order could render a court challenge moot.
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