Nine House Republicans led by Rep. Kevin Cramer, who advised President Trump on energy during his campaign, are urging him to remain in the Paris climate accord, but under altered conditions that better promote U.S. fossil fuels.
- Their Thursday letter arrived ahead of a closed-door White House meeting about the agreement. A decision is expected by late May about whether to begin pulling the U.S out of the 2015 global pact.
Reality check: The letter, while in circulation for weeks, attracted only a small slice of the House GOP. Four Republicans signed on to a more explicitly pro-Paris letter, while a letter calling on Trump to abandon Paris received 12 signatures.
Why it matters: The small numbers publicly pressing Trump either way suggests it's not a major priority for most members — at least not one they want to take a public stand on ahead of the decision.
What they're saying: Cramer's letter says the U.S. should soften Obama's emissions pledge, while using U.S. involvement in the accord to promote U.S. fossil fuel and manufacturing interests. It also pushes for international focus on tech to trap carbon emissions from coal, among other things.
To be sure: As we noted here, a member of the Senate GOP leadership team is publicly agitating for the U.S. to bail on Paris. Sen. John Barrasso made the case to his Republican colleagues earlier this week, which Generate covered here.
Thought bubble: Pruitt could win even if he loses on Paris. He has emerged as a highly vocal advocate of abandoning the pact that he calls economically harmful. That could ease conservative ire with Pruitt over his lack of action to overturn EPA's 2009 finding that greenhouse gases are a threat to humans, which provides a key legal underpinning to emissions regulations.