There’s a sharp divide along party lines among Missouri congress members over President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris agreement.
During his speech Thursday announcing the country’s withdrawal, Trump said the accord would hobble growth and export jobs and growth overseas. He also claimed it would destroy the coal industry.
3rd District Republican Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer sponsored legislation that would block any U.S. investment in the pact. He greeted Trump’s move as a welcome reversal of policies under President Obama.
“I welcome President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” Luetkemeyer said. “The Paris Agreement was just another example of the Obama Administration circumventing Congress to push a politically driven agenda at the expense of American workers and taxpayers.”
He also praised President Trump along with a House passed budget, while slamming climate change spending under Obama.
“Thankfully, under President Trump, we have already been able to pass a government funding bill to prevent this egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars. I look forward to working with the Trump Administration to make this prohibition permanent.”
It might be hard to link Luetkemeyer’s strong position to campaign contributions. His biggest donors are in the financial services and banking industries. Some of the most vocal proponents of staying in the Paris pact were financial giants Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
A polar opposite view to Luetkemeyer came from 1st District Democrat William Lacy Clay. He harshly criticized Trump for what he said was ignoring climate change and the economic impact of renewable energy.
“President Trump’s shameful decision to turn his back on the Paris Climate agreement denies science, weakens the United States around the world, betrays the future of our planet, and it will cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs.”
5th District Democrat Emanuel Cleaver noted that only two other countries have rejected the pact and criticized the decision for ignoring science, calling it a “short-sighted and a dangerous nod to the National Flat Earth Agency and others who refuse to accept the science that has been embraced by every nation on the planet except war-torn Syria and dictator-driven Nicaragua.”
2nd District Republican Ann Wagner praised the decision for freeing the country from bad international policies. “America should not be beholden to foreign countries with regard to our climate efforts” said Wagner. “I applaud President Trump for fulfilling his promise to protect U.S. energy jobs and for withdrawing from this most recent global panacea of bad ideas.”
7th District Congressman Billy Long was an early supporter of President Trump’s 2016 campaign. He praised the decision, claiming the accord would drain the economy.
“I applaud President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement” said Long. “This was a bad deal for the American people that would have cost the U.S. economy $3 trillion. The American people deserve better.”
Missouri’s Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt joined a group of 22 GOP colleagues to send a letter to President Trump last week urging him to scrap the Paris plan. In it, they contend Trump would have to scrap the Paris agreement in order for his executive action unwinding the Clean Power Plan to be successful.
Blunt received almost $850,000 in his 2016 reelection campaign from the automotive and oil and gas industries through his campaign committee and leadership pact. Its noteworthy oil behemoths Exxon-Mobil and ConocoPhillip were among the most vocal proponents of remaining in the agreement.
Blunt said “The U.S. has made, and will continue to make, great strides toward a cleaner environment without handcuffing ourselves to standards that other member countries are not required to follow”.
Missouri’s Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill condemned Trump’s decision for what she claimed was a failure to hold other countries responsible for their pollution.
“If any action is going to be taken to protect Americans’ health from pollution, then the best way to make sure Missourians are treated fairly is to make sure that all nations are playing by the same rules and aren’t cheating the system. Running and hiding from this problem isn’t going to solve it.”