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President Donald Trump has gradually dismantled the Obama administration's efforts to reduce coal, oil and gas emissions, as warnings multiply – from his own administration and from the US government. others – concerning the devastating impact of climate change on the US economy as well as on the Earth.
Trump dismissed his government's warnings about the impact of climate change, including a forecast released Friday that could result in economic losses of hundreds of billions of dollars a year by the end of the century.
"In terms of whether it's artificial or not and if the effects you're talking about are there, I do not see it," he said in an interview with The Washington Post .
Trump's position is that efforts to combat climate change emissions have hurt the US economy.
Announcing the withdrawal of the United States from the global climate agreement in Paris in June 2017, he said: "The Paris climate agreement is simply the latest example of Washington's conclusion on climate change. An agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers – the people I love – and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of job losses, wages lower, factory closures and a considerable decline in economic output. "
An email obtained by the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the administration withdrew from the Paris agreement without a clear climate policy.
"All, the purpose of this meeting is to determine whether, after Paris, we must develop, or simply gather, from what already exists, a policy proposal that can be described as" Trump's climate policy ", Michael Catanzaro, former A lobbyist in the oil and gas sector, Trump's energy and environmental consultant, wrote to representatives of the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency a few days after the ### President's announcement.
The EPA did not respond to requests for clarification on the Trump meeting or climate policy.
In an email sent on Wednesday, the State Department said that the United States was still participating in the climate negotiations, despite the withdrawal of the Paris agreement.
This includes a delegation from the State Department to the US-led climate talks starting next week in Poland, following on from the Paris negotiations.
"The United States continues to participate in ongoing international climate negotiations, including those related to the directions for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, to ensure a level playing field for the United States. , its workers and its taxpayers, "the ministry said in a statement. .
The initial shock of the sudden US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement galvanized international support for climate change efforts, said Nigel Purvis, who worked on climate issues in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
This "brought closer to other nations and their commitment," said Purvis. In the longer term, however, the Trump administration's withdrawal from climate change could hurt, showing governments and businesses that they can ignore global concerns over coal, oil and gas emissions. and not to be held responsible, he said.
At home, the Trump administration has begun dismantling a complex Obama era effort to power the country 's electricity grid with more renewable energy and less coal altering the power supply. climate.
"We are putting our big coal miners back to work!" Trump said this summer to an enthusiastic crowd from West Virginia that he was touting this demolition. Many economists dispute his assertion that cheaper natural gas and other market forces would lead to the continued downturn in the US coal sector.
The Obama plan aimed to reduce by about a third the carbon dioxide emissions that alter the climate in the United States by 2030.
Moreover, the country's auto industry is already adjusting to the announcement made by the Trump government in August that this would lighten the mileage standards of the Obama era.
Automotive experts believe that easing mileage standards of the Trump administration will strengthen the attachment of US drivers to heavier and more fuel-efficient sport utility vehicles than to those in the US. fuel efficient vehicles.
In October, nearly 65% of new vehicles sold in the United States were trucks or SUVs.
Reporters asked Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, this week whether the easing of fuel economy standards by the Trump administration had played in the announcement by the builder of the possibility to close up to five car factories in North America. "We intend to meet the standards whatever they are," Barra replied.
California and more than a dozen other states have filed lawsuits to try to prevent the easing of mileage standards.
In September, the Trump administration proposed to relax the 2016 rules that would require companies to do more to detect and plug methane leaks in oil and gas facilities.
Methane is the main component of natural gas and one of the most powerful pollutants when it comes to capturing heat in the atmosphere.
Associate press editors Matthew Lee and Michael Biesecker in Washington and Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.