The 22 GOP Senators Encourage Trump Into Anti-Environment Extremism
Today, the White House signaled that Donald Trump will pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. The USA will join Syria and Nicaragua, the only other nations on the planet that refuse to participate in the international agreement to take action on climate change.
The Paris aggreement is the mildest, meekness international climate change imaginable. It doesn’t impose any requirements on the signatories. Under the Paris agreement, all actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are entirely voluntary. Climatologists have pointed out that even if the voluntary suggestions of the Paris agreement were followed by every signatory, it wouldn’t be enough to keep climate change from surging forward at a dangerous pace.
So, why would Donald Trump pull the United States out of such a mild, meek, non-committal arrangement? Trump wants to send a signal that as long as he is in charge, the United States won’t even take symbolic, gentle action to confront the growing climate crisis. Donald Trump himself refuses even to acknowledge that climate change is real, much less that it is caused by human activity, though scientific research has firmly established the grave nature of anthropogenic climate change.
Today’s announcement doesn’t merely indicate a problem with Donald Trump’s attitude. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement was made at the urging of 22 Republican U.S. senator, who all signed a letter sent to the White House, reading, “We urge you to make a clean exit from the Paris Agreement so that your Administration can follow through on its commitment to rescind the Clean Power Plan.” These Republican senators are seeking to keep the United States dependent on antiquated fossil fuels technologies that don’t just pump dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases into our planet’s atmosphere, but also release toxic pollutants into America’s air and water, leading to the early deaths of huge numbers of Americans every year.
The senators who are propelling Donald Trump forward into the unscientific and critically harmful decision to accelerate climate change are: James Inhofe, John Cornyn, Roy Blunt, Roger Wicker, Michael Enzi, Michael Crapo, Jim Risch, Thad Cochran, Michael Rounds, Rand Paul, John Boozman, Richard Shelby, Luther Strange, Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, David Perdue, Thom Tillis, Tim Scott, and Pat Roberts.
Donald Trump may be more of a loudmouth than other politicians in Washington D.C., but his ideological extremism and determination to ignore science are frighteningly in accord with that of the Republican establishment.
It’s little coincidence that these 22 anti-environment Republicans have taken huge amounts of money from the dirty fossil fuels corporations that stand the most to lose from action to confront the climate crisis. The senators who sent the letter demanding an exit from the Paris agreement have each received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry Senators Inhofe and Cornyn, have taken, in the last five years alone, over million dollars each. That’s just counting above-the-board payments, ignoring the additional huge amounts of money that have gone to benefit these senators in the form of independent expenditures and indirect PAC payments.
Opposition to climate action isn’t just a matter of a betrayal to clean air. It’s also devastating to clean politics.