White House informing allies President Trump will withdraw from Paris agreement

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will announce Thursday that the U. S. will withdraw from the Paris global climate pact, according to a White House official, congressional officials and others briefed by the White House.

Trump is to make the announcement from the Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.

“He’s pulling out. It’s official,” said Stephen Moore, an economist who worked for Trump’s campaign and participated in an administration conference call. “They’re going to withdraw U.S. participation in the treaty.”

White House talking points obtained by The Associated Press say that the Paris accord “is a BAD deal for Americans” and that the president’s action would keep “his campaign promise to put American workers first.”

“The Accord,” the document goes on to say, “was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation.”

“The U.S. is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers,” it reads.

Abandoning the pact was one of Trump’s principal campaign pledges.

The White House invited representatives from several groups that support withdrawing from the Paris accord, including staff from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank.

Under the agreement, the U.S. had agreed to reduce the country’s pollution emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 — about 1.6 billion tons. Countries are permitted under the treaty to change their goals and there is no punishment for missing targets.

Pulling out of the agreement outright would take three-and-a-half years under the standard cooling-off period for new international treaties.

Trump met Wednesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has favored remaining in the agreement. Chief strategist Steve Bannon supports an exit, as does Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, has discussed the possibility of changing the U.S. carbon reduction targets instead of pulling out of the deal completely. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but still would like to see if emissions targets can be changed.

Trump’s influential daughter Ivanka Trump’s preference is to stay, but she has made it a priority to establish a review process so her father would hear from all sides, said a senior administration official. Like the other officials, that person was not authorized to describe the private discussions by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday in Alaska that he had “yet to read what the actual Paris Agreement is,” and would have to read it before weighing in.