President Trump’s renewed push to promote fossil fuels and nuclear energy is vexing energy ministers this week, as they gathered in Rome for a G7 summit.
The brouhaha, which Politico chronicled, was over a joint statement on energy policy that was supposed to go out, but was eventually scuttled.
European leaders at the conference refused to include language in favor of fossil fuels, which the Americans wanted, without the U.S. signaling it would stay in the Paris agreement, etched out in 2015 to take on climate change.
President Donald Trump (right), seen shaking the hand of a coal miner (left), is moving the U.S. back toward fossil fuels and nuclear energy, a position that is vexing U.S. allies
Energy ministers meeting this week in Rome found President Trump’s embrace of coal problematic, but they were even more disturbed by his refusal to say whether the U.S. will stay in the Paris climate agreement
In a draft of the memo obtained by Politico, the U.S. rewrote a portion to say that fossil fuels ‘including coal and natural gas will remain part of the global energy mix for the forseeable future.’
That statment replaced one that said countries would rely on fossil fuels for ‘some time, as countries progressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions of their energy systems.’
Trump’s campaign pledge to reinvigorate the American coal industry especially didn’t sit pretty with ministers
It ‘was seen as an issue for all of us,’ one G-7 country negotiator told Politico, mentioning specifically that Canada, Europe and Japan were all frustrated by this Trump administration position.
The bigger problem, however, was the fact that the administration wouldn’t yet commit to follow the Paris agreement, which the EU considered a ‘red line.’
Eventually the joint statement was scrapped and instead Italy’s economic development minister, who was chairing the summit, released a summary of the meeting.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry was leading the U.S. team.
As for whether Trump will end up keeping the U.S. in the Paris agreement, it is yet to be seen.
Once again those in his inner circle are split on the issue, with Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, reportedly against the international agreement, while son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump are for the federal government making moves to combat climate change.
During the transition, Ivanka Trump even set her dad up for a meeting with Vice President Al Gore, one of the most vocal climate change activists to come out of government.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump will make a final decision on the matter by late May, when he makes the trip to Italy to meet with G7 leaders.