What Philly’s Congress Members Think of Trump’s Climate Deal Exit

Most – including the Republicans – quickly denounced the president's decision.
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President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump has announced that the U.S. will leave the Paris climate agreement.

Environmentalists, globalists, political and business leaders and some of Trump’s advisers have condemned his decision to leave the climate deal, which unites 192 countries that pledge to pursue aggressive and progressive plans to fight climate change. On the other hand, the exit comes as a relief for White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon and the Republican senators who called on Trump to do so.

Mayor Jim Kenney has joined more than 80 mayors around the country who have spoken out in defiance of Trump’s decision and promised to continue enacting climate policies in accordance with the global accord.

In a statement yesterday, Kenney detailed renewed plans to combat climate change in Philadelphia and said Trump’s decision “goes against the interests of Philadelphians.”

Here’s what Philly’s Congress members have to say about Trump’s decision to withdraw from the climate accord, starting with Republicans (with the exception of Sen. Pat Toomey, who hasn’t yet weighed in on Trump’s decision).

Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan:

Republican Rep. Ryan Costello:

“I am disappointed by the Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This decision is a setback to sustainable energy innovation across our country and forfeits an opportunity for the United States to lead on an issue of economic and environmental significance. While the Paris Agreement has its flaws, the solution should not be to pack up, walk away, and surrender our position of influence. The solution should be to work with our partners and improve this initiative while championing critical protections for American families and businesses. As a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, I am committed to working with my colleagues to encourage greater American ingenuity, innovation, and leadership to reduce carbon emissions and protect our environment.”

Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick had urged the Administration to remain in the Paris Climate Agreement as recently as May 28th, when he called for Trump to address the threats posed by climate change “proactively and head-on … retaining our seat at this table is vitally important.”

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey:

“This is a double-barreled blow to both Pennsylvania jobs and our environment. By pulling out of an agreement to combat climate change, President Trump has put Pennsylvania workers at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for clean energy jobs. Foreign countries will now take the lead in growing an industry that produces jobs with family sustaining incomes. Additionally, pulling out of this climate change agreement will undermine the clean air that every Pennsylvanian has a right to expect. Vulnerable children will be particularly impacted by the lack of action to protect clean air. Without action on climate change, more children will suffer from diseases like asthma and malnutrition. Climate change is a serious challenge which requires action, not retreat.”

Democratic Rep. Dwight Evans:

“President Trump just announced his decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. I do not support the President’s decision. I will continue to act on climate because our future generations depend on it and we have a lot to lose if not. In fact, 59 percent of Americans believe in climate change and know protecting our earth is crucial. Nevertheless, President Trump’s action to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement does not mean that my colleagues and I will advocate less for what is in the best interest of the Philadelphians, Pennsylvanians and the American people. On the contrary, today’s decision calls on the resistance to speak out. I will continue to be your voice and speak up in Congress on climate issues.”

Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle:

“I am incredibly disappointed that President Trump is withdrawing our country from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark voluntary agreement between 195 countries to collectively address the growing threat of global climate change. This decision erodes our alliances and international standing, makes us less safe, and puts us at an economic disadvantage as other nations develop the clean energy economy of the future.  President Trump’s failure to capture the opportunities associated with leading the global effort against climate change demonstrates a lack of vision and a propensity to put politics above all else.

All Americans should be deeply concerned by the President’s retreat from American leadership and ideals on the global stage, from climate change to human rights. This combined with the President’s failure to fully support NATO, signals to the world that under his leadership our country is in a state of withdrawal. The United States, the leader in reaching the 2015 agreement, is the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases.  Previously, only Syria and Nicaragua declined to join the agreement. I cannot believe that President Trump would choose to join these ranks with this historic mistake. Rather than ‘negotiating better deals’, the President is removing us from the bargaining table altogether.”

Democratic Rep. Robert Brady:

“The announcement today By President Trump is short-sighted and a giant step backwards as he has now linked arms with Syria and Nicaragua and ignored the more than 190 nations who are part of the Paris accord. He has also ignored the views of the Pentagon who see climate change as a major national security issue.

In defense of his action the president pulls out of our rapidly warming air false statistics that claim the withdrawal will help the American economy and the business sector. Today’s action was incredibly irresponsible, no matter how many times he states he is putting America first.”

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.