Energy & Environment

House Democrats call on Trump to act on climate change

Nearly 100 Democratic lawmakers called on President Trump to back federal climate change initiatives.

In a letter, 96 House members urged Trump to heed warnings included in his administration's national climate assessment released last month, which spoke of the harsh economic repercussions climate change would reap on the U.S.

"We write to convey our grave concern that time is running out for the United States to work to reverse and mitigate the worst effects of a warming climate," the lawmakers wrote.

"Rather than ignoring the important findings of the [national climate assessment], we request that you reconsider maintaining the nation's commitment to the Paris Agreement and fully implement and enforce the Clean Power Plan, fuel economy standards, methane emission controls, and safeguards for clean air and clean water."

The lawmakers were led by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.), respectively the ranking member and vice ranking member of the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on the Environment.

The members wrote the president that he and his Cabinet members should be pushing the use of renewable energy and encourage states to reduce their carbon emissions.

The 96 lawmakers specifically pointed to a number of recent Environmental Protection Agency rollbacks that include a weakening of the national vehicle emissions standards and rules for methane leak monitoring from power plants.

"These proposals once again demonstrate that the Administration is putting special interests ahead of safeguarding public health and access to clean air and water," they wrote.

The Trump administration this week indicated it plans to stick to its previous decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.

Speaking at the United Nations' COP24 conference in Ukraine this week, Judith Garber, the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, said the U.S. would pull out of the agreement "absent the identification of terms that are more favorable to the American people."

Trump has previously said that he disagrees with the findings of his administration's own climate report, telling reporters at the White House earlier this month "I don't believe it."