Still happening, eventually: In case you missed the Axios stream yesterday, a hotly anticipated White House meeting on the Paris climate accord didn't occur because, the administration said, key players were traveling with President Trump. "It will be scheduled at some point over the next couple of weeks," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
- Sanders, on Air Force One, batted aside the suggestion that discord among top advisors about whether to withdraw from Paris was behind the scuttling of the meeting. "They wanted to have that conversation. Since they haven't had it, I don't think they could say that there's a lot of discord between where everyone is. And that's the purpose of the meeting," she said.
Filling the void: Well, nothing happened yesterday that could match the kinetic excitement of a (likely inconclusive) session of people sitting around a table talking about policy. But a couple things of note . . .
Some conservative House Republicans sent Trump a letter urging him to get out of Paris, including Reps. David McKinley and Paul Gosar, who posted it on his website. A dozen members signed the letter, according to Politico.
Why it matters: The low number of signatures signals that it's not a priority for many Republicans on Capitol Hill. "The constituency pushing that agenda is small, alienated, and getting less relevant by the day," one industry source tells Axios.
- In contrast, there's wide support among GOP lawmakers and business groups aligned with fossil fuel companies and manufacturers for unwinding President Obama's domestic climate regulations, which the administration is pursuing with gusto.
What to watch, part 1: How many signatures Rep. Kevin Cramer eventually gets on a competing letter he's circulating for signatures. It argues for a separate path — staying in Paris but scaling back the Obama-era emissions pledge, defending U.S. fossil fuel sectors and promoting deployment of tech to capture carbon from burning coal.
What to watch, part 2: On Thursday, Trump will meet with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. The White House says the administration will reach its decision on Paris ahead of the G-7 summit in late May that Italy is hosting. It's possible they'll get a question about it at their joint press conference.
Recommended read: Vox has a good article that explores the repercussions of both abandoning Paris and staying in while seeking to scale back U.S. commitment. On the abandon side…
- There's concern that some big developing nations where emissions are rising could scale back their efforts to rein them in. "If that were to happen, the chances of avoiding severe global warming would start to look far more dire."
- "China, the world's largest emitter, would be poised to assume a dominant role in future talks, and its leaders have tended to argue for looser oversight and accountability mechanisms within the deal than the U.S. has."