President Trump announced Thursday that his administration is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, a move backed by 10 state attorneys general who wrote a letter to Trump last week asking him to step away.
The attorneys general represent the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
Jeff Landry, the attorney general for Louisiana, celebrated Thursday afternoon with the following tweet:
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) June 1, 2017
In their letter dated May 23, the attorneys general said even though the U.S. is not legally bound by the Paris agreement, it poses obstacles to Trump’s promises to reduce regulatory burdens.
“Though we believe that the Paris agreement does not legally require the United States to take any action, we nevertheless believe there are many important reasons for withdrawing formally from the agreement,” the letter said. “Among those reasons are: the potential for legal actions seeking to enforce the agreement; the use of the agreement to challenge your administration’s efforts to revise or rescind unlawful or unnecessary regulations issued under President Obama; reliance on the agreement as an alleged trigger for regulation under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act; and, finally, the critical message that withdrawal sends to Americans who are counting on the regulatory and policy changes you promised to bring to the White House.”
The attorneys general criticized the Obama administration for having a “Washington knows best” attitude and pushing forward with the Paris accord despite the “unprecedented stay by the United States Supreme Court of the Clean Power Plan.” Obama made the Clean Power Plan “the linchpin of the United States’ carbon reduction commitment,” the letter noted.
“We applaud your commitment to returning power to the states and the American people, and the steps you have already taken to that end, including your executive order to promote energy independence and requiring EPA to review the Clean Power Plan,” the letter said. “We urge you to continue to that much-needed change in policy, which many Americans are counting on, by withdrawing from the Paris agreement.”