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Stefanik differs with Trump on Paris climate accord

On Monday the U.S. officially withdrew from the Paris climate accord, an international agreement between the world’s leading nations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the tide of climate change.

Under President Donald Trump’s direction, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced over Twitter that the U.S. will formally withdraw. Though this starts immediately, it will take around a year to take place.

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik said she did not support this withdrawal and is proud of her independent record of environmental votes, which often go against her Republican Party line.

“I disagree with that decision by the administration,” Stefanik said.

Trump has said the agreement was unfair to the U.S. and its economy, and though he talked about renegotiating the agreement when he announced his intentions to pull out in 2017, there does not seem to be a negotiation process planned.

“While I don’t think the Paris climate accord is a perfect deal, I do not think the U.S. should be on that very small list with countries like Syria pulling out of these environmental goals to combat climate change,” Stefanik said.

Many greenhouse gasses are produced using fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas to generate energy. Stefanik said she wants to create a “level playing field” for renewable energy sources, including wind, sun and hydro.

The 190 or so other nations that have signed on to the agreement now have to plan for the future without the world’s largest economy on board.

“Ours is a realistic and pragmatic model,” Pompeo said in a tweet.

Because of the accord’s lengthy withdrawal process, the results of the 2020 presidential election may determine whether the U.S. actually does leave the agreement.