BOSTON — Two Northeastern Republican governors are calling on the Trump administration to stay in the Paris climate agreement.
In a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott call the United States' goal of 26-28 percent carbon reduction “achievable” and argued their states are already feeling the brunt of a changing climate.
“We have seen the impacts of rising sea levels, increasingly severe flooding, heat waves, droughts, and decline in snow cover,” the governors wrote. “These impacts threaten the people of our states and put an intense burden on our economies.”
The letter comes as factions within the administration debate the merits of the international carbon-cutting pact. It also marks the latest instance where Baker and Scott have sought to distance themselves from President Trump. Both have publicly said they did not vote for Trump, and both have been vocal critics of the president since he took office, particularly on immigration.
The two have nevertheless shown Republicans can win in one of America's bluest regions, in part by talking up the threat of climate change. Both governors face election next year.
Baker is a firm favorite to win a second term. A Morning Consult poll in April found he boasted the highest approval ratings of any governor in the nation. Scott, who won a two-year term in November, is finishing his first term in Montpelier, Vt., where he spared with the Democrat-controlled Legislature over school spending and is now weighing whether to sign a bill legalizing marijuana.
At the Statehouse in Boston on Tuesday, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matt Beaton joined a clean energy rally. He touted Baker's climate bona fides, noting that the governor had signed a bill calling for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind and pointing to a state inventory cataloging infrastructure potentially threatened by climate change.
“The climate is changing. There is no debate over that here in Massachusetts,” Beaton said. When he later announced Baker had signed the letter with Scott calling on the United States to stay in the Paris Agreement, the crowd of environmentalists and clean energy advocates cheered.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net.