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) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick 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 McConnellGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The national emergency will haunt Republicans come election season Trump: McConnell should keep Senate in session until nominees are approved MORE (R-Ky.) and others praised Trump's move. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration 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 ClintonFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up McCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on MORE's 26 percent.