The White House To Push ‘More Efficient And Cleaner Fossil Fuels’ At Meeting With Foreign Climate Ministers

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The White House will use an informal meeting ahead of a United Nations summit to push President Donald Trump’s goals of making fossil fuels “more efficient and cleaner,” according to an official.

What’s not on the table at the moment is U.S. re-entry into the Paris climate accord, which Trump announced he would withdraw from in June. Trump said the Paris accord would transfer wealth from U.S. workers to other countries.

A White House official said they plan to push “more efficient and cleaner fossil fuels” and a “global approach” to cutting greenhouse gas emissions that doesn’t hurt the U.S. economy.

The White House will push goals it laid out at this year’s G20 meeting to promote all energy sources, not just green energy, and increase energy access and security, the official said.

“Job killer. People have no idea. Many people have no idea how bad that was,” Trump said of the Paris accord in a recent speech in North Dakota on tax reform.

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn will meet with ministers from other countries in New York on Tuesday “to engage in an informal exchange of views and discuss how we can move forward most productively” on energy and climate policy, reads an invitation to the meeting obtained by The New York Times.

It’s supposed to be an informal meeting ahead of the next United Nations General Assembly meeting, but the paper hinted it could be the beginning of the Trump administration’s laying negotiating terms to stay in the Paris climate accord.

“If the U.S. expresses its clear intent on addressing climate change issues at the meeting, that would be a positive sign,” an unnamed diplomat told The Times.

“I would think of this breakfast as an opportunity for other countries to show they are willing to engage in a discussion at least on issues of interest to the United States, and the United States to be clearer about what it considers suitable terms,” Susan Biniaz, a former State Department official who helped craft the Paris accord, told The Times.

The Trump administration was split on whether or not the president should keep his promise to withdraw from the Paris accord.

Cohn was a major proponent of staying in the accord, while former chief strategist Steve Bannon favored leaving. Bannon has since been ousted from the White House.

The Trump administration officially notified the UN in August it would withdraw from the Paris accord under the timeline laid out in the agreement. That date is November 2019.

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