Hogan, other Md. officials react to Trump's Paris decision

Many of Maryland's elected officials rebuked President Donald J. Trump's decision Thursday to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

Virtually every member of the state's congressional delegation weighed in with reaction minutes after Trump walked out of the Rose Garden.

The decision also prompted some rare, if tepid criticism from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has generally been hesitant to discuss Trump's policies.

"This is not an action the governor would have taken," Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said in a statement. "Governor Hogan remains committed to preserving Maryland's natural resources for future generations."

Like other states, Maryland has set its own targets for greenhouse gas reduction. Hogan signed legislation last year that reauthorized that effort and mandated a 40 percent reduction in statewide carbon pollution by 2030.

Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is exploring federal legislation to mitigate the potential impact from the decision, though any such measure is unlikely to gain traction in the Republican-controlled Senate.

"The world must be exasperated and disappointed in our country," Cardin said. "China, Russia, India and other countries will move in short order to assume our spot at the head of the climate diplomacy table."

Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes of Baltimore County, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who has been active on environmental issues, described the decision as "a reckless gamble against science."

But just as the announcement split reaction mostly along partisan lines in Washington, the response in Maryland was also divided. Rep. Andy Harris said the agreement would have taken a toll on the U.S. economy.

"President Obama made a bad deal, and President Trump can do better," the Baltimore County Republican said in a statement. "Any new international climate agreement should be ratified by the U.S. Senate, as outlined in the Constitution."

Baltimore Sun reporters Erin Cox and Carrie Wells contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
30°