Coal company asks Trump to stay in Paris climate pact

Coal company asks Trump to stay in Paris climate pact
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Coal-mining company Cloud Peak Energy Inc. is asking President Trump to keep the United States in the Paris climate agreement.

Cloud Peak, the United States’ third-largest coal company by production, said that Trump could use the pact to steer the international community away from anti-fossil fuel policies and decisions.

“U.S. leadership could take the world into a new era of global economic prosperity that also addresses concerns about climate and emissions,” Cloud Peak President Colin Marshall wrote Thursday to Trump.

“By remaining in the Paris agreement, albeit with a much different pledge on emissions, you can help shape a more rational international approach to climate policy.”

The 2015 agreement, which came together in large part due to former President Obama’s aggressive second-term climate agenda, consists of individual greenhouse gas-limiting goals that each of nearly 200 countries submitted. The emissions goals are not binding.

As it stands, the accord is likely a major threat to coal and other fossil fuels.

Trump promised during his presidential campaign to “cancel” the pact. But since he took office, he has not decided what to do about it, with warring factions in the Trump administration pushing him in different directions.

Reuters and Politico reported that Cloud Peak was among several major coal companies privately asking Trump to stay in the pacy but to use the opportunity to push United States-produced fossil fuels.

Cloud Peak and other coal companies also want Trump to reduce the United States’ emissions-cutting pledge, which Obama had set at 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a Trump ally and former adviser, made a similar suggestion last week.

Other big coal companies, such as Murray Energy Corp., want Trump to pull out of the agreement completely.

Trump will decide by late May whether he wants to stay in the Paris agreement or begin the process of leaving it.

Cloud Peak also used its Thursday letter to applaud Trump for last week’s wide-ranging executive order to undo Obama’s climate agenda.

But Marshall wrote that he is “not aware of any utilities who have announced they are changing their coal plant closure plans since your election.” He asked Trump for more pro-coal policies, like extending a tax credit for carbon capture, changing the Clean Air Act to allow for a limited carbon dioxide regulation program and ensuring the Energy Department funds carbon-capture research and development.