Congressional Republicans largely applauded President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement on climate change Thursday.
GOP lawmakers echoed the president’s rhetoric, arguing the U.S. leave the deal between 195 nations because it hinders economic growth.
“The Paris climate agreement was simply a raw deal for America. Signed by President Obama without Senate ratification, it would have driven up the cost of energy, hitting middle-class and low-income Americans the hardest,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. “In order to unleash the power of the American economy, our government must encourage production of American energy.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had similar sentiments, saying he believes the U.S. can be a leader in clean energy without additional regulatory burdens.
“The American energy renaissance has been good for our country and the world. It created American jobs, freed the United States and our allies from OPEC price controls, and helped to reduce emissions at the same time,” he stated. “The previous administration refused to recognize that private innovation and clean American natural gas have achieved more than government mandates and misguided international agreements, and that naiveté led President Obama to sign a climate deal that will impose great costs with little gain.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who helped lead the opposition to the Obama administration’s clean power rule — said the move will help protect jobs in the coal industry and keep energy prices low.
“President Obama made commitments in this deal based off a costly power plan that we knew at the time was on shaky legal ground,” he said in a statement. “By withdrawing from this unattainable mandate, President Trump has reiterated his commitment to protecting middle-class families across the country and workers throughout coal country from higher energy prices and potential job loss.”
While many praised Trump’s announcement, some members expressed hesitations about the decision.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he believes global warming is a problem that shouldn’t be ignored.
“It would be taken as a statement that climate change is not a problem; is not real,” he told CNN last week. “So that would be bad for the party, bad for the country.”
Following the announcement, Graham took to social media to say negotiating a better deal for America would be a good thing.
“I support President Trump’s desire to re-enter the Paris Accord after the agreement becomes a better deal for America and business,” he tweeted.
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