Stay there. That’s a good rule of thumb when visiting Paris and also when considering the Paris Agreement, the landmark global climate deal. The Trump Administration, however, has not proven to be a fan of rules (of thumb or otherwise) and it is now poised to pull out of the historic deal.
The Trump Administration has been toying with the idea of pulling out of the Paris Agreement for months and now a final decision on the deal is expected this week. On one side of the decision stand Steve Bannon and EPA Administrator (and climate denier) Scott Pruitt. On the other side stand Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Reminder that Rex Tillerson was the CEO of Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies – yet, even ExxonMobil wants Trump to implement the climate agreement).
Recent reports suggest Team Bannon/Pruitt may win out, which would have devastating consequences both at home and abroad. On top of that, there are zero reasons to withdraw from the deal. More than 190 countries are signatories to the agreement—even North Korea. Withdrawal would damage U.S. competitiveness while other countries position themselves to lead the global transition to clean energy—and to dominate clean energy markets. Withdrawal would also have serious diplomatic and national security consequences by alienating U.S. allies. On the other hand, staying in the agreement would come at no cost to the United States.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Wake Up The Trump Hotel. Join our friends at the People’s Climate March tomorrow morning outside Trump Hotel to wake Trump up to the climate crisis. The event will start at 7 am outside the Trump Hotel where organizers will sound a giant alarm clock and urge the Trump Administration to remain in the Paris Agreement and act on climate. Event details here. Not in DC? Join in on social media using #ParisAgreement and #ActOnClimate.
Sally Yates. The former Acting Attorney General (remember her?) is set to testify today at 2:30 PM in front of a Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee on Russian interference in the election. Yates’s testimony is expected to shed more light on the events surrounding the ousting of Russia-linked former national security adviser Michael Flynn back in February– and Trump seems spooked. Maybe that’s because Trump and his team have been lying about Michael Flynn and his ties to Russia for 5 months. Here’s what you need to know ahead of today’s hearing.
“Political Courage.” Last night, President Obama encouraged Congress to exercise “political courage” to save the Affordable Care Act adding that he hopes members “recognize it takes little courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential — but it takes some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm, those who often have no access to the corridors of power.” The House declined their first opportunity to show political courage last week when they voted to pass Trumpcare. Now they are back for recess and it’s time to hold them accountable for their Trumpcare vote. Listen to what’s next in the Trumpcare fight on Off-Kilter podcast. Then find an event near you at ResistanceNearMe.org and check out the newly-revamped TrumpcareToolkit.org for everything you need to hold your representative accountable.
“Show me your papers”… in Texas. That’s what Texas’s anti-immigrant law SB4, which Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law last night, would allow law enforcement in the state to ask of anyone. SB4 is one of the first staunchly anti-immigrant bills signed into law in the Trump era. The law, which, among other things forces state law enforcement to comply with otherwise voluntary ICE detainers—even as federal courts have ruled that detainer requests may violate the 4th Amendment— and punishes localities for not enforcing federal immigration laws, is a direct attack on immigrant families and communities in Texas. Call Governor Abbott today to tell him #SB4isHate.
Anti-Science. The Trump Administraiton is continuing its anti-science streak. Late Friday, the administration, led by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, dismissed half of the scientists on the Board of Scientific Counselors, which advises the EPA’s scientific arm. What’s worse, Pruitt seems poised to replac the scientists with representatives from the fossil fuel industry. The interior Department is following suit by “reviewing the charter and charge” of more than 200 advisory boards, committees, and other entities within the agency.
#MonumentsForAll. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is in Utah this week conducting his “review” of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments as part of Trump’s EO aimed at shrinking or rescinding some of the country’s most valuable public alnds. Both monuments are considered two of the wildest and most ecologically valuable places in the West. What may be less surprising is that both monuments are also in the sights of mining and drilling interests.
UNDER THE RADAR
See you in court. Federal courts could start being a lot nicer to Trump. As president, Trump will get to appoint candidates for over 100 federal judicial vacancies. He’s starting off today by appointing 10 judges to federal circuit and district courts. The nominees, who are overwhelming white and male, have mostly extremely conservative backgrounds, including defending questionable national security practices and misleading voter ID amendments. Trump’s picks now face the confirmation process in the Senate.
Emmanuel Macron. Say ‘bonjour’ to France’s new (and youngest) President, elected yesterday in a landslide defeat against his hard-right xenophobic opponent Marine le Pen. By rejecting le Pen’s divisive rhetoric and voting overwhelmingly for Macron, a pro-EU and pro-immigrant centrist candidate, the people of France showed that political change need not be based on pessimism and hatred