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) ManchinFormer coal exec Don Blankenship launches third-party presidential bid Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Overnight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

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 senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) and others praised Trump's move. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action 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 Clinton2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT MORE's 26 percent.