As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt is aiming to reverse Obama administration emission restrictions at coal-fired power plants to save jobs.
Trump has been critical of the Paris deal's potential effect on the USA economy, and told Reuters during last year's presidential campaign that he may "renegotiate" the deal. President Trump's recent executive orders have targeted a wide array of Obama policies including regulation of carbon emissions and coal leasing on federal lands. But it seems unlikely that the debate could lead to a compromise in which the USA stays in the Paris agreement while reducing its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
If the Trump administration does not jettison the agreement altogether, they are expected to revise their pledge to a more reasonable and realistic standard that will not jeopardize American competitiveness.
USA -based corporations have lobbied the Trump administration to stay party to the agreement, which they see as good for business. The reason is more burning of natural gas, rather than coal, and a growing profusion of renewables.
His budget director, Mick Mulvaney, described plans to cut government spending on climate change as stopping a "waste" of taxpayer money. But he added, "look, these guys are unpredictable, and I don't think we can know". Cloud Peak pitches the Paris agreement as a platform for the U.S.to advocate using carbon capture and other high-efficiency, low-emissions technology to generate electricity from coal.
The President's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner - both top White House advisers, are also reportedly in favor of the climate accord. "America's participation in worldwide climate change programs has wasted taxpayer money and led to questionable and harmful interventions in energy markets through government-backed financial programs, mandates and heavy-handed regulation". A key argument is that the US can stay in the agreement without satisfying its pledge or maintaining regulations created to help achieve the target, said one administration official. "They do require a global response".
"BP welcomed the Paris agreement when it was signed, and we continue to support it", said Geoff Morrell, a company spokesman. "All signatories should stick to it instead of walking away from it as this is a responsibility we must assume for future generations". But he did not specifically say what the U.S.'s promises should be. In January, China's National Energy Administration outlined a plan to make massive investments in clean energy through 2020, even as President Trump has focused nearly exclusively on supporting the fossil fuel industry.
The agreement's text specifically allows a country to adjust its greenhouse gas targets if it is "enhancing its level of ambition", but not to reduce promises. "It's possible to provide the energy the world needs while also addressing the climate challenge".