Elon Musk Exits Trump’s Advisory Councils Over Paris Climate Decision

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) —  Moments after President Donald Trump announced plans to back out of the Paris climate agreement, Silicon Valley mogul Elon Musk announced his departure from the president’s advisory councils.

Trump said on Thursday that he will withdraw the U.S. from the climate agreement, which was signed by almost 200 countries, because it poses a threat to the nation’s economy.

But Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk, disagreed with the president’s move.

Musk is among a wave of business and political leaders in the West who are expressing disappointment in the White House decision.

Disney’s Bob Iger has also resigned from the president’s business advisory board on Thursday.

But U.S. states that disagree with Trump’s move, such as California, now have another option.Washington state, New York and California announced on Thursday the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will bring together states committed to upholding the climate agreement.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with California Gov. Jerry and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, say that the state will continue to lead the country in reducing carbon emissions.

“Regardless of Washington’s inaction, California will continue to lead the way on protecting our planet. We will fight the Trump Administration tooth and nail any time it tries to roll back our progress. The stakes are simply far too high,” Becerra said.

Newsom said California, one of the globe’s largest and leading economies, will “step into the Trump vacuum” and partner with other nations and regions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) agreed that climate change is a major issue in the United States and that in her district alone, “more than 100,000 people, more than $20 billion in property,” as well as San Francisco International Airport “are threatened by sea level rise.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said the move was not good for the U.S. economy.

Pelosi stated, “…President Trump is abandoning America’s leadership position in the fight against the climate crisis and is sending a strong message to the rest of the world to create, design and manufacture clean energy solutions and create jobs elsewhere.”

But the White House maintains that the Paris climate accord could cost the U.S. economy “millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic output over the next several decades.”

The only other nations not participating in the accord are Syria and Nicaragua.

Global business leaders are also disputing the White House’s move. Darren Woods, the CEO of ExxonMobil, urged Trump to support the Paris climate agreement.

ExxonMobil is the largest U.S. producer of gas and its shareholders are increasingly demanding that the company be more transparent about how climate change is changing their business.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, formerly chairman and CEO at ExxonMobil, also urged the president not to pull out of the agreement.

By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.
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