Trump ally calls for US to roll back climate commitment

Trump ally calls for US to roll back climate commitment
© Greg Nash

A close ally to President Trump in the House is urging him to reduce the United States’ international pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change.

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who was an energy adviser and public ally for Trump's campaign, made arguments for a revised commitment in a letter outlining three conditions he wants Trump to abide by if he decides to stay in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Trump promised to “cancel” the nonbinding Paris accord during his campaign. But he hasn’t yet taken action on the matter while he considers different views in his administration, including from advisers and officials who want to stay in the pact for diplomatic reasons.

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In Cramer’s letter Thursday, he said it might be acceptable to stay in the pact, with some conditions, including that Trump reduces former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Russian social media is the modern-day Trojan horse Trump records robo-call for Gillespie: He'll help 'make America great again' MORE’s pledge that the U.S. cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels. 

“The U.S. should present a new pledge that does no harm to our economy,” Cramer wrote. “Unlike President Obama’s opaque process to determine his pledge, the determination should be transparent, reflect a range of economic scenarios, and take inadequate input from the private sector and other interested parties.”

Cramer said Trump should not pay any more money into the Green Climate Fund, beyond the $1 billion Obama submitted to the international fund meant to help poor countries cut greenhouse gases and deal with the effects of climate change.

Lastly, Cramer asked that Trump use the United States’ position to promote domestic companies, like manufacturing and energy.

“We should work closely with our allies to develop, deploy, and commercialize cleaner technologies to help ensure a future for fossil fuels within the context of the global climate agenda, including support for the deployment of highly efficient and low emission coal, as well as carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies, in global markets,” he said.

Cramer told reporters Wednesday that he believed staying in the Paris pact could be a net benefit for the United States.

“I can imagine that the State Department likes the diplomacy of us being in it. I can imagine that, just as Americans want emissions to be dealt with, so does the world. But I also think the world’s somewhat relieved that they don’t have a climate worshipper in the White House setting the possible goals,” he said.

“I think if [the administration] can use their influence with the accord to moderate, bring the goals to more realistic levels, I think that’s fine, I think that’s the art of diplomacy.”