Capitol Alert

What Californians are saying about Trump pulling out of Paris Accord

Many of California’s Democratic lawmakers strongly oppose the idea that President Donald Trump will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.
Many of California’s Democratic lawmakers strongly oppose the idea that President Donald Trump will pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. AP

California politicians reacted quickly to reports that President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California:

“I urge President Trump to reconsider abandoning the Paris climate agreement. In my strong view, a retreat from this agreement would be a reckless mistake that will have serious and dire consequences. As a Californian, I see the impact of climate change and don’t believe the threat can be overstated. We are rapidly losing our window of opportunity to control the rise of temperatures.

“All but two countries have ratified the agreement, pledging to work together to keep average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. This landmark agreement wouldn’t have happened without American leadership. This effort will only succeed if we continue to honor our commitment.

“Climate change is just beginning to test our capacity to manage global crises. The world was not prepared for 5 million refugees from Syria. What will we do when many millions more are displaced by sea level rise, agricultural failures or disease pandemics?

“No nation can face these security threats alone. Climate change is a global problem that requires global engagement. Breaking our commitment to the Paris climate agreement will leave our country isolated and ill-prepared for the challenges we face. I urge the president to change course.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

“President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord is a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet’s future. In walking away from this agreement, the President is denying scientific truths, removing safeguards that protect our health and our environment, protecting polluters and their dirty energy agenda, and threatening our national and global security.

“The Paris Accord honors our collective moral responsibility to leave future generations with a planet that is clean, healthy and sustainable. The agreement deploys the full force of governments around the world to halt the rise in carbon emissions that cause extreme climate events, including record droughts, horrific famines and devastating floods, in addition to thousands of deaths each year from asthma attacks and other air pollution-related diseases. Rejecting the pact also sends a strong message to the marketplace to direct innovative, entrepreneurial investments in the clean energy economy elsewhere.

“The majority of Americans in both parties know that climate change is real, and want clear, decisive action to arrest its dire effects. Democrats will continue to support the strong action of states, cities and the private sector to halt the march of climate change, no matter how destructive and short-sighted the decisions of this Administration continue to be.”

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena:

“Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement is incredibly shortsighted. Whether the President wants to admit it or not, the climate is changing. Walking away or turning a blind eye cannot change the facts. Instead, the President risks grave consequences not just for our environment, but for our economy and our future.

“We have already seen the devastating effects of climate change in California and across the world. Droughts threaten farmers and agriculture. Severe floods devastate our infrastructure. These problems will only worsen until we take action. I will continue to support California’s efforts to combat climate change and reduce our impact on the environment. If the President will not lead the way, our communities will.”

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento:

“Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement would put the future of our country and our world at risk. The science is clear. If we don’t act on climate in this pivotal moment, future generations will be the ones who pay the price. Yet, at a time when the world is looking to our country for leadership, the President seems intent on stepping back. We must keep fighting to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the health, economic, and environmental security of our communities.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:

“The president’s reported decision to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement is yet another reckless abdication of American leadership on the global stage by this Administration. Over 150 countries have committed to combatting the effects of climate change in meaningful and unprecedented ways. This decision was no doubt informed by extremists in the White House like Steve Bannon whose lies about the Paris Agreement have been widely disproven and discredited by legal experts and scientists.

“Climate change presents the greatest threat humankind has ever known. We simply cannot afford to let this president unravel the progress on climate change we’ve made as a nation and a global community. Retreating from the global climate effort would damage our diplomatic credibility, set the U.S. further behind in the clean energy movement and devastate countless communities and ecosystems in the United States. Once again, the recklessness and ignorance of this president have dealt an irreparable blow to our planet and American leadership.”

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park: (Twitter)

“Donald Trump has made clear he doesn’t trust science or even international consensus. But how about his own Secretary of Defense?

“In March, Gen. Mattis said: ‘Climate change can be a driver of instability & @DeptofDefense must pay attention to potential adverse impacts.

“Walking away from #ParisAgreement is a moral, economic, environmental & strategic failure. Not to mention end of US leadership in the world.

“I urge Trump not to pull out of #ParisAgreement & instead help usher our economy forward by investing in clean jobs. /end”

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance:

“Though not surprised, I am deeply disappointed by reports of Trump’s intent to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Such a withdrawal would be misguided, ill-informed, and backward-looking. We should not be making America dirtier again. Abandoning the Agreement would also result in the United States ceding its leadership in addressing carbon and methane pollution at a time when we cannot afford inaction. Now more than ever we need states like California as well as our allies overseas to fill Trump’s void and continue fighting for a greener planet.

“P.S. Coal is not coming back.”

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego:

“Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement puts politics before cleaner air, cleaner water, a stronger economy, and the chance at a healthy planet for our children.

“This disastrous decision would cede American leadership at the very time when we should be in the driver’s seat leading the clean energy revolution to reduce air and water pollution. President Trump is sending a clear signal to the rest of the world that they should look to China and others for energy innovation, not the United States.

“My mission in public service is to make a difference in protecting our planet, and this shortsighted decision is wrong and does not put America first; in fact it does the opposite. I sincerely hope that President Trump reconsiders and listens to the military, the private sector, our brightest minds, and nearly every other nation in the world that sees climate change as an urgent threat to our security and our economy.

“But a vacuum of leadership in Washington has never stopped San Diego and California from forging ahead to keep our air and water clean and do more than our part in reducing pollution. Now, more than ever, we must be bold and decisive in pursuing the clean energy future that our children deserve.”

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles:

“We woke up this morning to extremely upsetting news – that the President intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement.

“That’s why California’s leadership is critical. We’re showing the way forward, and we’re sending a clear message to the rest of the world that no president, no matter how desperately they try to ignore reality, can halt our progress.”

California Controller Betty T. Yee:

“Pulling out of the Paris Agreement would greatly risk the world’s chances of stemming the disastrous effects of climate change, resulting in irreversible impacts to future generations. Shareholders and Fortune 500 CEOs – including those at energy companies – understand the undeniable economic and environmental risks, which is why they have urged the Trump Administration to support the accord.

“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will mean we need to redouble our shareholder engagement on companies’ sustainability goals – efforts that will be even more necessary to ensure a cleaner environment and stable economic future.”

California Democratic Party Chair Eric C. Bauman:

“Trump’s denial of the unparalleled danger and glaring reality of climate change is a grave threat to our nation and our future.

“Withdrawing from the Paris agreement will deliver a devastating blow to our planet, as well as violate our nation’s conscience and tarnish America’s moral standing in the world.

“Trump’s action will be met with the fierce leadership and resistance of California Democrats, who have led the way to defend our planet and the health and prosperity of our future generations. California boasts the nation’s strongest laws to fight climate change. From clean energy goals to halting destructive fracking, we are pushing even further to stop degradation of our air, land, and water and leave an environment worthy of our children’s future.”

Walter Ko: 916-321-1436, @juntaeko