US President Donald Trump stated that it is in his plans to pull the United States out of the United Nations-sponsored Paris Agreement on climate change.
At an energy conference in Pittsburgh, President Trump touted the rise in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production, his efforts to roll back regulations on the energy industries, and his administration's intention to withdraw the USA From the 2015 International Climate Agreement.
"The Paris Agreement has been limiting American producers with excessive regulatory restrictions, while allowing foreign producers to pollute with impunity," said President Trump, who shared the stage with dozens of workers in hard hats.
"What we will not do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters," he said, adding, "I'm proud to say, it's called America First."
Reuters Newsagency reports that opponents of leaving the deal say it hurts America's global leadership in transitioning to a cleaner economy with technologies to boost wind and solar power, advanced batteries and energy conservation.
"Rather than project force, this action weakens the United States on the world stage and cedes leadership on climate change and other challenges of our time to countries like Russia and China," said Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.
Reuters reports that President Trump often boasts that he has already pulled the country out of the pact.
However, the first day that you can officially begin the process has not yet arrived.
Under the terms of the deal, President Trump can send a letter on Nov. 4 to the UN to start the countdown to formally withdraw the US from the global climate pact.
The withdrawal takes a year, which would mean that the US would drop the agreement one day after the presidential election on November 3, 2020.
Reuters reports that while President Trump initially said he might try to renegotiate the terms of the Paris Agreement to make it more favorable to the US, the presentation of the letter closes the door on that possibility.
President Trump said the deal was costly for the United States, the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China.
The United States, under former President Barack Obama, had pledged under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 to help curb global warming.
Andrew Light, a former State Department official during the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Paris Agreement, said the formal withdrawal would make it difficult for US diplomats to participate in other discussions such as the Group of Seven (G7).
"It will take some time to recover from this train wreck of American diplomacy," said Light, now a fellow at the World Resources Institute.