Dem senator: Paris accord did not 'balance' environment, economy

Dem senator: Paris accord did not 'balance' environment, economy
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGovernors-turned-senators meet to talk healthcare Manchin organizing bipartisan healthcare meeting Tuesday night Moderate Republicans, Dems huddle on healthcare MORE (D-W.Va.) voiced support Thursday for President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, arguing that the agreement did not ensure “a balance between our environment and the economy.”

“While I believe that the United States and the world should continue to pursue a cleaner energy future, I do not believe that the Paris Agreement ensures a balance between our environment and the economy,” Manchin said in a statement.

Manchin, who represents a state that relies heavily on the coal industry that Trump won by big margins in November, advocated finding a deal that would protect the nation’s consumers “as well as energy-producing states like West Virginia."

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The Democratic senator, who is up for reelection in 2018, also called for incentives to further develop fossil fuel technologies.

A handful of GOP senators had voiced support for the U.S. staying in the agreement, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOPINION | How Democrats stole the nation's lower federal courts Flight restrictions signal possible August vacation for Trump The GOP Wonder Women who saved healthcare for 22 million MORE (R-Ky.) and others praised Trump's move. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerOPINION | How Democrats stole the nation's lower federal courts OPINION | Hey Dems, Russia won't define 2018, so why not fix your party's problems instead? Lawmakers send McCain well wishes after cancer diagnosis MORE (D-N.Y.) cast Trump's decision as the president telling the Earth to "drop dead." 

Trump had pledged on the campaign trail to “cancel” the Obama-era climate agreement, and made a formal announcement in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday to “get out” of the 2015 accord, fulfilling the promise.

Steven Bannon, the president’s chief strategist,” supported the withdrawal as part of his economic nationalist vision. Other White House advisers such as Ivanka Trump, the first daughter, supported staying in the agreement.

Opponents of pulling out of the agreement argue that withdrawing would allow other nations to take the lead on combatting climate change. The Paris agreement involves almost every other country in the world except Nicaragua and Syria.

Trump, who pledged on the campaign trail to bring back coal jobs, won Manchin's home state of West Virginia during last year's election with almost 68 percent of the vote compared to Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonScaramucci deletes old tweets bashing Trump Trump hits reset button on messaging Trump Jr., Manafort still haven't agreed to testify before Senate panel MORE's 26 percent.