Advance Notice: Briefs

Dingell, Levin join effort to snub Trump on climate change policies

By: - February 10, 2019 4:57 pm

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, addresses his remarks at the Pentagon Thursday, January 17, 2019, announcing the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review. | Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour via Flickr Public Domain

WASHINGTON — Two Michigan members of Congress are supporting a symbolic rebuke against President Trump’s international climate change policies.

U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) are among 59 members of Congress to introduce a resolution opposing Trump’s stated plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The non-binding resolution wouldn’t have the force to keep Trump in the deal, but would serve as a public declaration that lawmakers disagree with the president’s move.

In a separate measure, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed an executive directive inserting Michigan into the U.S. Climate Alliance. That’s a coalition of 19 other governors, mostly Democrats, who voluntarily agreed to cut their state’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with the 2016 Paris Climate Accords.

As part of joining the alliance, Michigan agreed to “implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 [to] 28 percent … by 2025,” according to the executive directive.

The two-page congressional resolution states that “the challenge of climate change requires a global effort,” and that the goals set by the Paris accord “are not only achievable but necessary in order to move towards a pathway to limit temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Andy Levin

It concludes, “Congress reaffirms its commitment to the Paris Agreement and that the United States is still in and should not withdraw.”

Trump said after taking office that the United States would exit the pact, reversing the 2015 pledge made by the former President Obama administration. But the United States can’t technically withdraw from the deal until Nov. 5, 2020, the day after the presidential election.

Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the lone Republican to sign onto the resolution. Fitzpatrick, who’s distanced himself from the president, urged Trump to stay in the deal before the administration announced the withdrawal.

Fitzpatrick said in 2017 that the challenge of climate change “must be addressed proactively and head on,” and that “a renegotiation is a better option and will benefit our nation in the long run.”

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Robin Bravender
Robin Bravender

Robin Bravender was the States Newsroom Washington Bureau Chief from January 2019 until June 2020. She coordinated the network’s national coverage and reported on states’ congressional delegations, federal agencies, the White House and the federal courts. Prior to that, Robin was an editor and reporter at E&E News, a reporter at Politico, and a freelance producer for Reuters TV.