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

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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinKlobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill 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 McConnellFive issues that will define the months until the midterms  Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE (R-Ky.) and others praised Trump's move. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian 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 ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE's 26 percent.