Markey: Trump Wants U.S. to ‘Become a Laggard’ with Paris Climate Exit

WASHINGTON – Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said President Trump wants the U.S. to “become a laggard” but states and cities won’t let that happen as they try to uphold the Paris climate accord without support from the White House.

Additional states recently joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is committed to the Paris accord, despite Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

PJM asked Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, if he thinks a state-level alliance to uphold the agreement is a good idea.

“Donald Trump may have pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, but the states of our country, the cities of our country, the businesses of our country and the people of our country have not pulled out of the accord,” Markey said in a recent interview on Capitol Hill.

“So, we might not be able to meet the total commitment, but we're going to come very close. Our country is not going to allow the United States to give up its role as leader and become a laggard even if that is what Donald Trump's agenda is,” he added.

Markey was asked if he thinks the cities and states that support the Paris accord would be able to meet the pact’s carbon neutrality goals by 2050.

“The United States made a pledge to the rest of the world that we would be the leader – we have to honor that pledge. President Trump made a pledge to the coal miners of America – 70,000 workers out of 320 million people in our country,” Markey said. “It just puts us in a technological rearview mirror and not pointing towards the future opportunities for our country.”

New Hampshire Republican Gov. Christopher Sununu recently announced that New Hampshire would not be joining the U.S. Climate Alliance after the White House pullout. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told PJM that she disagrees with Sununu’s decision.

“New Hampshire has been a leader on climate change. We’re part of the regional greenhouse gas initiative. It’s new jobs in the new alternative energies and so it’s good for New Hampshire, it’s good for our environment and it’s good to address climate,” said Shaheen, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Shaheen also said Sununu is “wasting an opportunity to maintain New Hampshire’s leadership” on environmental issues and growing the economy with green jobs.

“The Paris Climate Agreement sets laudable benchmarks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to global warming,” she said in statement.

“New Hampshire should be spearheading efforts to curb the dangerous effects of climate change. I urge Governor Sununu to review the principles of the Paris climate accord and reconsider his position on joining the U.S. Climate Alliance,” she added.