Apr 13, 2017

Trump administration vs. global climate accord

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Chatter is building on whether the Trump administration will stay or withdraw from a global climate accord, struck in 2015 by nearly 200 nations, ahead of the administration's anticipated decision by the end of next month.

Driving the news: George David Banks, a top advisor in the Trump White House for global climate and energy issues, is working to keep the U.S. government in the deal while throwing out the Obama administration's pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions specific levels.

The other side: Myron Ebell, a top expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and former transition advisor for Trump's EPA, represents the right flank of the GOP that wants America out of the climate deal altogether. He says he prefers the administration pull out entirely, but his rhetoric is softening oh so slightly, and he's saying now that no matter what decision is made, it'll be portrayed as withdrawal.

"I'm pretty sure whatever they do they're going to say it's withdrawal," Ebell told Axios. "There are different ways to withdraw."

What that means: Ebell says the Trump administration could withdraw President Obama's pledge, which is the current leading possibility.

Reality check: During the campaign, Trump said he would "cancel" the Paris deal, which is technically impossible. Dropping Obama's pledge is also not technically withdrawing from the deal, but it's a nuanced detail that can easily be overlooked and massaged as necessary in rallies and meetings when appropriate by administration officials.

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