As originally published in E&E News.
The right-of-center Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum is the latest organization to weigh in on the need for the United States to stay in the Paris Agreement while revising its terms.
In a memo to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House energy adviser George David Banks yesterday, the director of the CRES Forum focused on climate finance and transparent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.
The memo also suggests the United States should negotiate to consolidate U.N. climate finance tools and add a provision for third-party verification of greenhouse gas reporting disputes. Unlike conservatives who have advised the Trump administration to weaken the pledge to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and replace it with a laxer goal, CRES Forum argued the United States is on track to meet its current commitment.
“With continued implementation of innovative, clean energy technologies and free-market, all-of-the-above energy policies, we have no doubt that the U.S. will continue leading on efforts to reduce emissions, bolster economic growth, and advance energy independence for generations to come,” said Charles Hernick, an international energy consultant and former northern Virginia congressional candidate who serves as director of policy and advocacy for the group.
CRES launched the forum, its 501(c)(3) policy arm, last week with Hernick at the helm.
The memo notes members of Congress from both parties have argued to stay in the Paris Agreement because it is important to keep a “seat at the table” or defend domestic manufacturing and fossil fuel sectors.
CRES Forum stated its recommendation is in line with Republican policymakers, including Secretary of Energy Rick Perry; Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida; Reps. Patrick Meehan, Ryan Costello and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania; Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker; and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott.
“Regardless of the politics, staying in the Paris Agreement is sound policy because it provides an opportunity for the U.S. to lead global discussions related to economic growth, energy development, security, and environment, and promote U.S. national interests in a high-visibility international forum,” the memo states.
By: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter