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

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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMajor unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Voters split on eliminating the filibuster: poll OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE (R-Ky.) and others praised Trump's move. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProtect America's houses of worship in year-end appropriations package Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift 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 Diane Rodham ClintonGroups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffs Biden's political position is tougher than Trump's Valadao unseats Cox in election rematch MORE's 26 percent.