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Nebraska officials react to climate accord pullout

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-01 23:31:25-04

Hours after President Trump announced the United States would be out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Governor Pete Ricketts and Congressman Don Bacon attended a Sarpy County GOP meeting, where they defended Trump’s decision to pullout from the agreement.

"President Trump made the right decision,” said Ricketts. “The Paris agreement was bad for the United States. It was a job-killing agreement that would have prevented us from really growing our country and quite frankly, it was unnecessary."

Bacon agreed.

“I believe what the previous administration did was wrong as they agreed to do this with all these other nations and didn’t run it by the House or Senate like we would with treaties,” Bacon said.

Ricketts said Trump’s move will not affect Americans. He says the U.S. is a great steward of the environment.

"If you look here at Nebraska in particular, with things like the Monolith Materials project, that is going to be the first utility scale hydro-burning plant, I think in the world. And that has no emissions that come from it. If you look at our state, we have clean air, growing wind resources - we are a leader in protecting the environment,” added Ricketts.

While Bacon says the U.S. should’ve stayed in the agreement, he says the U.S. should have negotiated some regulations to cut costs for the U.S.

"I think we could've stayed at the table but fix these certain benchmarks that we disagree with. These are voluntary benchmarks and I think we could've said, ‘we want this fixed and this fixed, we want to do this differently’ but still be a part of the Paris agreement,” said Bacon.

Local democrats are clearly on the opposite side of the issue.

Nebraska Party Chair Jane Kleeb, the leader of the environmental group, Bold Nebraska, called the move “reckless.”

“Any logical person knows expanding fossil fuels risks our land, water and air,” said Kleeb.