The Missouri Sierra Club was ready for President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris agreement.
In a speech announcing his decision, Trump said the deal placed “draconian” financial burdens on the American people. He framed the pact as a disgraceful defeat for American workers and claimed it gave an unfair advantage to foreign countries.
While the words likely received a warm reception from Trump supporters, the Missouri Sierra Club’s John Hickey contends those backers represent a minority viewpoint.
“There’s a nationwide Gallop poll done at the end of May that showed that Trump’s approval rating is 41 percent” said Hickey. “Meanwhile, another poll done in May found 65 percent supported the U.S. combating climate change. The Paris agreement is much more popular than Donald Trump is.”
Trump made his announcement after being pressured to keep the deal during visits with European leaders and Pope Francis on his recent trip abroad.
Meanwhile, a group of 22 Republican U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Trump last week urging him to scrap the Paris agreement. Among them was Missouri’s Roy Blunt.
Hickey cites a recent Yale Poll conducted in November which shows many of those Senators are, like Trump, much less popular than the Paris deal. In the case of Blunt, his approval rating with Missourians is 47%, while the Show-Me state favors the Paris accord by a 61% margin.
“Missourians want action on climate change. And yet Blunt and Trump instead are taking care of their fossil fuel financial backers, and they’re willing to sacrifice the public health, and even the planet to make their donors richer.”
In their letter to Trump, the Senators claim Trump would have to scrap the Paris agreement in order for his executive action unwinding the Clean Power Plan to be successful.
Among other things, they note that existing provisions in the Clean Air Act are embedded in the Paris agreement. They claim dismantling the Clean Power Plan without withdrawing from the Paris accord would open the administration up to significant litigation.
28 major companies urged Trump not to abandon the agreement prior to his announcement. Among them were oil giants Exxon-Mobil and ConocoPhillips, along with Wall Street mainstay Morgan Stanley. Hickey pointed out that two large employers in Missouri have moved aggressively to cut greenhouse gases.
“Anheuser-Busch here in St. Louis. Unilever, which has got a couple of factories – one in Jefferson City and one in Independence”.
Hickey notes Anheuser-Busch has a much more aggressive plan than the Paris accord calls for. Busch intends to have 100 percent clean burning energy by 2025.