President Donald Trump’s most senior advisers will huddle next week to resolve long-simmering tensions over whether the United States should stay in the Paris climate change agreement, a major point of dispute between the moderate and nationalist wings of the White House, three administration officials told POLITICO.
National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon are expected to be at the table. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, but sources cautioned that the timing and number of attendees is still in flux.
The advisers and Cabinet officials hope to be able to reach consensus on a recommendation to the president, though that could prove difficult, as they are divided over whether to abandon the agreement.
Bannon and Pruitt are said to be strongly opposed to remaining in the agreement, while Kushner and Tillerson are said to be in favor of staying. Cohn and McMaster have not yet staked out a position in internal discussions at the White House, but they are also expected to argue for staying in the pact.
I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that whatever ‘Lil Jared (and Ivanka) wants, ‘Lil Jared (and Ivanka) gets.
The climate agreement struck in Paris in 2015 was considered one of former President Barack Obama’s biggest environmental achievements. It was the first global agreement under which the nearly 200 countries who negotiated it pledged to flight climate change and curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Pruitt has emerged in recent days as a staunch opponent of the pact, telling Fox & Friends Thursday that “it’s something we need to exit, in my opinion.”
Two sources told POLITICO that Pruitt is also concerned that the Paris agreement could harm his legal position as he pushes forward with a repeal of Obama’s climate change regulations for power plants.
Tying the hands of domestic EPA measures was part of Obama’s deliberate strategy in the Paris agreement.
Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation have been agitating for the president to keep his campaign promise to withdraw from the agreement.
Sure, Trump promised to withdraw during the campaign trail, but as we’re seeing with a rapidly growing list of issues, his campaign promises don’t appear to mean very much.
“If Trump allows this deal to go forward, he will unwittingly fulfill Hillary Clinton’s arrogant and dastardly promise to put every coal miner in America out of a job,” Heritage fellow Stephen Moore and research associate Timothy Doescher wrote in a recent op-ed.
Trump is expected to make a final decision on Paris by late May, when he and other world leaders will travel to Italy for a G-7 summit.