Responses are pouring in to President Donald Trump's announcement Thursday that he is withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Paris climate deal. See what leaders including New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Peter King, Rep. Kathleen Rice, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and former President Barack Obama are saying about Trump's decision.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford)
"As a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus I support pro-growth clean energy policies. Though well intentioned, the Paris Agreement would cost American jobs, slow our economy and put us at a competitive disadvantage with China and have minimal impact on the environment. A better deal must be negotiated and submitted for congressional approval."
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley)
"I support many overall goals here, but the United States approached this entire Paris climate agreement all wrong. Last fall, while the duly elected legislatures in other nations, like Canada and the European Union, hosted hearings, debates, and ultimately voted on the Paris Accord, President Obama chose to bypass the Constitution and enter into this sweeping international agreement without seeking congressional approval. These types of agreements should be agreed to in a transparent manner that follows the Constitution and the law. Additionally, while other nations made modest commitments pegged to their GDP growth, President Obama made a unilateral pledge to bring emissions 25-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. There are some very important practical issues with that pledge regarding feasibility, which especially include unmanageable time constraints and energy cost increases for Americans.
What we need to do moving forward should include continuing to take an international approach to protect clean air and clean water, and reduce emissions that are impacting our climate, but we must negotiate it correctly so that we aren't overpromising, under-delivering and causing unnecessary harm. Additionally, and very importantly, we really need to do much better to get other nations to do their part. Paris allows China and other nations to eventually renege on their commitments and actually increase emissions with no consequences, which is ridiculous for us to sign off on in return for an infeasible concession on our side. Any international deal going forward also needs congressional input and a vote that lays out the negotiating goals and a ratification vote after the fact.
As a member of the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, I will support reasonable policy solutions that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. This has included clean and green energy research funding that directly supports important work taking place at SUNY Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Lab. I've also been a strong advocate for important environmental funding that impacts eastern Long Island, including the Long Island Sound Program and National Estuary Program."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
New York's senior senator referenced a classic Daily News headline with this tweet, emblazoned "Trump to Earth: Drop Dead."
Schumer called Trump's decision to withdraw "a devastating failure of historic proportions. Future generations will look back on President Trump's decision as one of the worst policy moves made in the 21st century because of the huge damage to our economy, our environment and our geopolitical standing."
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
"America's energy and economic destiny should be up to the United States, not the United Nations," the interior secretary said during a visit to Alaska. Zinke, a Republican from Montana, praised the president for taking "bold and decisive action to pull the U.S. out of the poorly negotiated Paris Accord that would kill American jobs and manufacturing while doing little to protect the environment."
Former President Barack Obama
"The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States should be at the front of the pack," Obama said in a statement, which you can read in full via Mashable on Twitter. "But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I'm confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we've got."
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-N.Y.)
"The White House's reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet. This administration is abdicating its leadership and taking a backseat to other countries in the global fight against climate change. New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington's irresponsible actions. We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change, which is why I am also signing an executive order confirming New York's leadership role in protecting our citizens, our environment, and our planet."
Cuomo and the governors of California and Washington announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, describing it as "a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change."
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City)
"Pulling out of the Paris Agreement is probably the most irresponsible thing President Trump has done since taking office. His speech today was as ignorant and deceitful as it was offensive to the Long Islanders who are already living with the effects of climate change and whose communities could be under water in a few decades if we fail to combat rising sea levels. The consequences of this decision go far beyond the environment. The Paris Agreement was only possible because the U.S. brought the world together to take on a global problem that affects us all. That's what we do. That's what leadership looks like. President Trump is doing the exact opposite, and the entire world is taking notice."
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
"Your decision today to exit the Paris Accord reflects your unflinching commitment to put America First. And by exiting, you are fulfilling yet one more campaign promise to the American people," Pruitt, a Republican from Oklahoma, said in his prepared remarks. "Please know that I am thankful for your fortitude -- courage -- and steadfastness as you serve and lead our country. America finally has a leader who answers only to the people -- not the special interests who have had their way for much too long. In everything you do, you are fighting for the forgotten men and women of America. You are the champion for hardworking citizens all across this land who just want a government that puts their needs first."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
"This decision by President Trump to leave the Paris Accord is irresponsibly shortsighted and harmful to the United States. There is no credible doubt that climate change is real and is caused by human activity. We have irrefutable data that temperatures are rising, Arctic ice is melting, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather is becoming more severe. This scientific question has been settled for years, yet the few deniers who are still out there have gained outsized and dangerous influence with our president at the expense of our safety and security. For the sake of our country and our future, President Trump must quickly embrace the truth that climate change is real, and act on it -- by supporting investments in clean energy technology that will create good-paying jobs and drive innovation, and by restoring American leadership in this massive global effort. Our children's generation will have to deal with the potentially catastrophic effects of this shortsighted and dangerous decision to leave the Paris Accord, and I urge all New Yorkers and all Americans who care about our health, our security, and our economy to raise their voices and speak out forcefully against this decision."
Vice President Mike Pence
Pence praised Trump's leadership and said he "is choosing to put American jobs and American consumers first" as he introduced him in the Rose Garden on Thursday, June 1, 2017. "Our president is choosing to put American energy and American industry first. And by his action today, President Donald Trump is choosing to put the forgotten men and women of America first," Pence said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Merkel and her fellow heads of state of France and Italy said they regret Trump's decision. "The Paris Agreement remains a cornerstone in the cooperation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change and for implementing the 2030 Agenda sustainable development goals. We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies," they said.
They reaffirmed their "strongest commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement," and said they would step up efforts to help developing countries achieve their climate goals.
Merkel's spokesman said on Twitter that she would continue to put all efforts into climate policy "to save our Earth."
Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove)
"Today's decision by the president to remove the U.S. from the Paris Agreement is a bad one. Climate change is a real and existential threat that must be taken seriously, and this move by the president is a strong signal that he has little interest in protecting our planet. America has a critical role to play in the fight against climate change, and this decision will harm our standing across the globe on this issue. I'm pleased to hear that some of my Republican colleagues on the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus have already expressed opposition to the president's decision to withdraw from this agreement. The president claims that he will try and negotiate a better economic deal, but his presentation suggests that he is willing to abandon our goal of reducing carbon emissions. In addition, this decision could influence nations like China -- the largest emitter of carbon in the world -- to withdraw from the agreement as well, which would only harm our planet further. While it appears the U.S. cannot completely withdraw from the agreement until 2020, the steps taken today are a big step in the wrong direction. We need to move towards a clean energy economy because 1) we must eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, 2) America needs to create green economy jobs instead of China and other global competitors, and 3) it's good for the environment."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
"The Paris Accord was the biggest step forward on climate change that we'd taken in years. It's unconscionable for @POTUS to abandon it," de Blasio said on Twitter. The Democrat said he would honor the goals of the Paris climate deal with an executive order soon.
"Am departing presidential councils," the Tesla CEO tweeted. "Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens)
"Yet another blow to U.S. credibility with President Trump's withdrawal from the #ParisAccord," Meeks said on Twitter. "President Trump is intent on empowering China," he added a few minutes later.
"Disappointed with today's decision on the Paris Agreement," the General Electric CEO said on Twitter. "Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government."