On Thursday, President Trump turned his back on a global agreement to address climate change that has been signed by 192 other nations. The United State is currently one of the few countries in the world that rejected the Paris Climate Accord and its requirement to prevent global warming from going higher than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
It is unclear what impact the Trump administration’s actions would have on the environment and America’s status in the world. Experts think that without the U.S. the treaty could be dismantled sooner or later.
22 Senators Urge Trump to Ditch the Climate Deal
However, Trump did not act alone when he decided to throw into the dustbin a treaty that took years of painstaking negotiations. When Trump was deliberating over the climate accord, 22 GOP Senators jointly signed and submitted a letter to Trump urging him to abandon the agreement.
The Senators started their missive by praising Trump for his efforts to reduce the number of regulations burdening America’s businesses. However, they soon added a warning that conservationists along with state attorneys general would use the accord as a tool to prevent the Trump administration from placing more restrictions on the EPA. This argument apparently convinced Trump that withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement was the right thing to do.
The Senators’ Ties to the Industry
Surprisingly, all 22 signatories had received money from the Big Oil in the past. Per The Guardian, the said Senators have collectively received more than $10 million from the fossil fuel industry since 2012.
The two masterminds that drafted the letter were John Barrasso (R-WY) and James Inhofe (R-OK). Between 2012 and 2016, Barrasso received $585,822 from the coal and oil and gas industries, while Inhofe, who sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, received $529,550.
Other Senators that took money from the Big Oil are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ($1,542,084), Majority Whip John Cornyn ($1,134,506), Rand Paul ($252,786), and Ted Cruz ($2,569,810). See the full list here.