Pruitt backs US exit from Paris agreement
Washington, 13 April (Argus) — US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt today said the US should leave the Paris climate accord, saying it will cost the country too many jobs while allowing other countries to delay action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Pruitt called the Paris agreement a "bad deal for America" because it lets China and India in particular wait until 2030 to begin reducing emissions. The US "frontloaded" its economic costs under the agreement, he said.
"Paris is something we need to really look at closely. It is something we need to exit in my opinion," Pruitt said during a televised interview.
Pruitt's comments come as the administration of President Donald Trump is deciding whether to stay in the Paris agreement, which calls on nearly 200 countries to take steps to limit the global rise in temperatures to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Some members of the administration, such as secretary of state Rex Tillerson, have argued the US should remain a party to the agreement in order to keep a seat at future climate talks.
Pruitt also pledged that EPA would successfully "rollback" the Clean Power Plan and the waters of the US rule, which expands federal jurisdiction over water bodies.
"We are going to get it done," he said.
The Clean Power Plan, which would cut carbon emissions from power plants, was a key component of former president Barack Obama's plan to meet the US pledge under the agreement to cut emissions 26-28pc from 2005 levels by 2025.
EPA recently started a review of the regulation in response to an executive order from Trump. While the president's order says the agency can decide to retain or revise the standards, both he and Pruitt have been vocal critics of the Clean Power Plan, which would require states to meet power sector CO2 targets for 2022-2030. Pruitt, as attorney general of Oklahoma, sued EPA to overturn the regulations.