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Local Congressional reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord followed predictable party lines among Portage County’s three representatives.
Congressman Jim Renacci, Republican, representing southwest Portage County:
"Today the President announced that the US would be leaving the Paris Agreement. As someone who has consistently opposed this international agreement – which was never voted on by the Senate due to President Obama’s attempts to circumvent Congress – I applaud this decision.
"I am not opposed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but we must not take steps that restrict our economic growth and ability to compete in the world economy. What we see here is the inherent unfairness of the Paris Agreement. Rather than treat all nations the same, the Paris Agreement creates an inequitable system for lowering greenhouse emissions. This disparity will allow our economic and geopolitical rivals to grow and expand their influence around the world and threatens our economic and national security. Studies by the Heritage Foundation, National Economic Research Associates, and others have all projected GDP losses in the trillions of dollars, job losses from several hundred thousand to several million, lower household income and higher electricity prices. For example, Ohio receives 59% of its electricity from coal and has over 33,000 jobs tied to the industry. The abrupt abandonment of this crucial energy source would affect families all over Ohio and across the country.
"I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support policies that promote an “all of the above” energy approach that won’t stifle economic growth.
Rep. Tim Ryan, Democrat, representing parts of eastern and central Portage County.
From May 31: "In a stunning abandonment of American Leadership aboard, President Donald J. Trump is poised to join the ranks of Syria and Nicaragua, making the United States only the third country on Earth not to participate in the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement. This is a disastrous decision. It hurts places like Ohio, where the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy economy could bring jobs back to our communities. It hurts our planet by once again continuing to ignore the perils of global climate change. And finally it hurts our national security. We know that climate change can amplify or worsen tensions that lead to conflict such as food and water shortages.
"Since 2010, our own military has designated climate change as a crucial factor to consider in future national security planning. President Trump’s insistence on ignoring, muzzling, or twisting scientific research to pretend climate change is not an issue puts us all in immediate and long term danger. Future generations will not look kindly on this decision, nor should they. This is a sad day for our nation and for the world."
Rep. David Joyce, Republican, representing northern Portage County, including Aurora, Mantua and Garretsville.
No statement released.