Colorado's Congressional delegation was split along party lines in responding to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
On Thursday, June 1, President Donald Trump delivered an address from the White House Rose Garden in which he formally announced the United States’ withdrawal from the United Nations’ Paris Climate Agreement.
The Paris Agreement was one of the signature accomplishments of the Obama administration. Former-President Obama joined with 195 other countries in pledging to cut CO2 emissions in the United States and to fund green initiatives in other countries using taxpayer dollars.
Supporters of the agreement argue that cutting back on CO2 emissions is absolutely essential to addressing the issue of manmade climate change.
Opponents point out that President Obama never put the international agreement through Congress for ratification and that, if implemented, it would kill millions of American energy and manufacturing jobs over the next two decades.
As a candidate, President Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement if he were elected. After weeks of consulting with advisors on both sides of the issue, the President decided the agreement was not in the United States’ interest, but left the door open for future renegotiations.
Colorado’s Congressmen and Senators took to social media to voice their support for and displeasure over the withdrawal. Here is where they stand.
Senator Michael Bennet (D)
Senator Bennet opposed Pres. Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. He called the withdrawal a "catastrophic mistake" and pledged that Colorado would continue to abide by the agreement's provisions, regardless of the President's decision.
Senator Cory Gardner (R)
Senator Gardner released a statement supporting President Trump's decision. He focused on the fact that the Obama administration had signed, financed, and began implementing the international agreement without consulting the United States Senate.
The last Administration never submitted the Paris Climate Agreement to Congress and acted unilaterally. When Congress is bypassed, a president’s orders can be reversed by a future presidential action. The American people deserve to have a say in our energy future and Congress is the appropriate place to debate these important issues. I will continue to work with my colleagues to grow the economy, create jobs, and protect the environment for future generations of Coloradans."
Congressman Mike Coffman (R)
Rep. Coffman released two images on social media criticizing how the Obama administration chose to sign onto the Paris Climate Agreement. Like his Republican colleagues, Coffman criticized former-President Obama for not submitting the agreement to Congress for ratification as the Constitution's Treaty Clause requires. Coffman also mimicked the President's hope that terms could be renegotiated to allow the United States to re-enter the agreement.
Congresswoman Diana Degette (D)
Rep. Degette criticized the move, accusing the Trump administration of showing that "our country cannot be counted on to stick to its promises."
Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D)
In a string of tweets, Rep. Perlmutter criticized the Trump administration's decision to withdraw. He called the move "dangerous and shortsighted" and argued that it puts America's "environment, economy and national security at risk."
Congressman Ken Buck (R)
Congressman Buck called Pres. Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement a "big win for Colorado." He promised that Colorado and the country can continue to strive towards a cleaner environment "without participating in this poorly negotiated deal, a non-binding deal that President Obama never even sent to the Senate for approval." He then linked to a Wall Street Journal article highly critical of the agreement.
Congressman Jared Polis (D)
Rep. Polis released a statement joining the chorus of Democratic criticism, He declared that the President's decision "flies in the face of both economics [and] science." Earlier in 2017, Polis co-sponsored House Resolution 85
urging the Pres. Trump to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement. The Resolution had approximately 30 co-sponsors and was not passed by the House of Representatives.
Congressman Scott Tipton (R)
Rep. Tipton has yet to release a statement on President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. However, in a survey provided to Colorado Public Radio last October, Rep. Tipton announced his opposition to the agreement, arguing that it unfairly targeted the United States without reining in the world's worst polluters.
I do not support the Paris climate deal or any other executive order that puts our economy at a competitive disadvantage to our peers, forcing Americans to shoulder the cost for a climate deal that does nothing tangible to limit the world’s biggest polluters like China, India and Mexico."
Congressman Doug Lamborn (R)
Rep. Lamborn has also not yet released a public statement, however, he has a long record of opposing the Paris Climate Agreement on constitutional grounds. In 2014, Lamborn co-sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 97
, a measure that would have required President Obama to receive Congressional approval before committing the United States to the international agreement. Lamborn has also criticized efforts in the past that would impose significant economic regulations and burdens on business and industry.
What do you think? Was President Trump right to withdraw the United States from the UN's Paris Climate Agreement, or should he have stayed in?