Many countries are angry that President Trump chose to unilaterally withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. We’ve documented this and the ramifications of his decision in a prior story. However, there is one group which will see this decision as a campaign promise being kept and another step on the road to “making America great again.”
As CNN reports, the Rose Garden spectacle yesterday was aimed at a specific audience:
It was an eloquent encapsulation of the political creed that powered his rise to the presidency and his belief that he is delivering for what Vice President Mike Pence called the “forgotten men and women.”
“This is Trump. This is Trumpism, I would say this is Trump at his best,” said Stephen Moore, a former economic adviser to the president’s campaign, who is now a CNN commentator.
“When he talked about pulling out of the Paris accord, it was met by thunderous ovations from Trump voters.”
The Canadian media outlet known as CBC News also adds some analysis about how well this move could play in the Midwest:
Those are the voters in the industrial Midwest, many of them lifelong Democrats, who in the past election shifted to Trump, believing he may be able to stem the hollowing-out of manufacturing jobs in their region.
And to the blue collar workers in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, a global deal calling on the U.S. to lower CO2 emissions is a job killer.
“It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — along with many, many other locations within our great country, before Paris, France,” Trump said.
This is all illustrated in a carefully conceived line yesterday referencing the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:
However, the Mayor of Pittsburgh responded to Trump’s line on twitter:
As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future. https://t.co/3znXGTcd8C
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) June 1, 2017
The city of Pittsburgh voted 80% for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, but the surrounding areas in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio are Trump’s bread and butter, especially when it comes to the steel industry.
The irony here is that the Paris accord was non-binding, meaning the United States was not under any obligation to actually carry through with any changes on greenhouse gas emissions. Trump could have left America in the agreement, but halted any action on it during his term. Instead, he chose to create the press event in front of the cameras for the purpose of speaking directly to his base.
If you’re looking for more information what is actually in the Paris Agreement and what it was intended to achieve, check this article from NPR for a fairly decent examination of it.