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Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A group of 22 heavyweight Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are sending a letter to President Trump today urging him to make a clean exit from the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. The letter applauds Trump for beginning the process of unwinding Obama's Clean Power Plan regulations, but says that goal is imperiled if he decides to remain in the Paris climate change deal.

Why this matters: Trump promised on the campaign trail to quit the Paris deal, but he's currently reconsidering the decision and his staff is divided.

Urging the president to remain: Ivanka Trump — to preserve a seat at the table for the U.S. — and Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been supportive of that approach.

Urging the president to leave: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, chief strategist Steve Bannon and White House counsel Don McGahn.

Key section from the Senators' letter to Trump:

"Because of existing provisions within the Clean Air Act and others embedded in the Paris Agreement, remaining in it would subject the United States to significant litigation risk that could upend your Administration's ability to fulfill its goal of rescinding the Clean Power Plan. Accordingly, we strongly encourage you to make a clean break from the Paris Agreement."

Senators who signed the letter include:

  • John Barrasso, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • Jim Inhofe, former chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
  • John Cornyn, Senate Majority Whip
  • Roy Blunt, Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
  • Orrin Hatch, Senate Finance chair
  • High-profile conservative senators: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee

Go deeper

14 mins ago - World

WHO revises air quality guidelines to reduce deaths from pollution

Smoke from California wildfires over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in August 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Wednesday updated air quality guidelines it set roughly 15 years ago, saying that negative health effects from air pollutants can begin at lower levels than it previously thought.

Why it matters: The changes are meant to reduce deaths from pollutants that cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and prematurely kill an estimated 7 million people around the world annually, according to the WHO.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

The road to COP26 gets slightly easier

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The bad diplomatic vibes heading into the critical United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, might be improving slightly.

Catch up fast: Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday pledged to end overseas finance for building new coal-fired power plants and boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Corporations turn focus to retaining frontline workers

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Companies are narrowing the blue- and white-collar experience as they're forced to adapt to a worker-led market.

Driving the news: Basic office tools and concepts like corporate communications and schedule flexibility are migrating to frontline operations through investments in technology.