Several Republican attorneys general urged President Donald Trump Wednesday to withdraw from an Obama-era climate deal they believe could rejuvenate a war on coal.
West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey is leading a 10-state coalition in urging the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. They are worried the 200-nation deal would seriously damage the president’s campaign to roll back environmental regulations.
“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is an important and necessary step toward reversing the harmful energy policies and unlawful overreach of the Obama era,” Morrisey wrote in a multi-state letter to the White House. He signed the the letter with AGs from Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
Trump staked much of his presidential campaign on promises to revive the coal industry and reduce regulations hampering oil and natural gas production on federal lands. He also indicated during the presidential election that he was willing to nix the controversial international agreement.
Morrisey, whose state lost thousands of coal jobs during the Obama administration, led a separate coalition of AGs earlier this year in urging Congress to use legislative maneuvers to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing the Clean Power Plan, as well as drafting similar regulations in the future.
The CPP was designed to force coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 to 32 percent below 2005 levels. It is also expected to cost an eye-bulging $41 billion annually.
Officials are pulling Trump in several different directions on the Paris agreement.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, for instance, has indicated he would support the deal if Trump can reduce some of its most objectionable provisions. The former ExxonMobil CEO believes staying on board with the contentious climate deal could help Tillerson diplomatically.
Other members of Trump’s inner circle think the president should uphold the promise he made to eliminate the Paris deal. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon, for instance, want the president to keep his campaign promise.
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