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Crapo, Risch – recipients of oil, gas, coal money for years – urged Trump to withdraw from Paris accord

U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, left, and Jim Risch said they have been against the Paris climate deal since the beginning.
U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, left, and Jim Risch said they have been against the Paris climate deal since the beginning. Statesman file

Idaho’s two senators offered statements Thursday elaborating on why they opposed the Paris Accord, the same day The Guardian published an article outlining how some Republicans who encouraged President Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord have received contributions from oil, gas and coal supporters.

Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch received more than $137,000 and $149,000, respectively, from oil, gas, and coal interests in the past three election cycles, according to The Guardian.

Crapo and Risch were two of the 22 senators who wrote a letter to Trump before he announced the decision to pull out of the Paris climate change deal. Combined, those 22 senators received more than $10 million in contributions from oil, gas and coal companies, according to The Guardian.

Trump made the announcement Thursday, saying he wanted to negotiate re-entering the deal – supported by more than 190 nations – but only if it doesn’t harm the American economy.

In the past three election cycles – 2012, 2014, and 2016 – Crapo has received $110,250 in contributions from oil and gas interests and another $26,756 from coal interests, according to The Guardian’s report. Risch has received $123,850 in contributions from oil and gas interests and another $25,680 from coal interests.

Risch said in a written statement that there were many reasons the Paris Climate Accord was a “bad deal,” because it was agreed to by the Obama administration, something that Risch says violates the Constitution’s requirement that all treaties be passed by a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

“In addition, President Obama contributed $500 million from the State Department to the United Nations climate fund on two separate occasions,” Risch said in his statements.”These payments were made without authorization from Congress and without regard for the American taxpayers who shouldered the heaviest burden. This deal levied costly regulations on small business owners, and made it more difficult for energy producers and the U.S. to reach its shared goal of an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy. ... I was opposed to the Paris Accord when Obama signed it then and I remain opposed to it in its present form.”

Crapo’s statement also said the climate accord was “badly negotiated.”

“It would allow other countries like China to continue polluting for decades while imposing ineffective and costly reduction targets for the United States,” Crapo said in his statement. “For jobs and our economy, the agreement would cost nearly $3 trillion to implement and cost nearly 6.5 million industrial and manufacturing jobs. Researchers from MIT have concluded that the agreement would likely do little for the environment, reducing global temperatures by less than .2 degrees Celsius before 2100. Renegotiating the Paris Accord will not interfere with the United States’ current efforts to lower CO2 emissions, which have been reduced by 12% since 2006.”

Reporter Bill Dentzer contributed to this report.

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