By Sarah Binder February 17, 2018 — The President’s climate policies have become more polarizing as the United States economy slows, with Democrats demanding more ambitious efforts to cut emissions and Republicans claiming that the president is merely looking out for the interests of the wealthy.
The president, however, has repeatedly emphasized his desire to do more than just protect the environment, saying in an April 30 speech that he wants to help the economy grow and help it reach new heights.
While Democrats have long been more supportive of climate action, Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have said the country needs to move more quickly to reduce carbon emissions.
Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which was approved by Congress in December, included a commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and cement emissions cuts from oil and gas drilling and mining.
It was approved as part of the broader Clean Power Plan, a law passed by Congress last year that requires utilities to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
The EPA and the White House also announced an agreement to roll back the Clean Power Rule, which requires utilities that produce more than 20 percent of their electricity from carbon-based sources to cut their emissions.
The Trump administration has been criticized for its handling of the agreement, with some lawmakers accusing the president of dragging his feet to secure a deal.
But it is not clear how long the agreement would last, with the administration announcing last week that it would not be finalized until late January.
The administration has said it would consider any climate change-related action to help keep the economy on track.
But many Democrats have criticized the agreement as too short and saying it should have been finalized sooner.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that she expects the deal to expire in February, citing the lack of enforcement and the fact that the U.S. economy has yet to recover from the recession that began in December.
“President Trump’s climate action plan is dead on arrival in the Senate, but his administration is making it harder and harder for the American people to trust the president,” Pelosi said.
“We need to stop his plan and put a real climate plan in place, because the president has made it clear that he doesn’t want the American economy to grow, that he will not reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and that he has no intention of cutting emissions in order to help our economy.”
Ryan, who is running for re-election in 2018, said he would “definitely not” support any EPA or White House plan to address climate change unless it was accompanied by a plan to cut carbon emissions and implement the Clean Energy and Security Act, a bipartisan bill passed in December by the House of Representatives.
In January, the White, House and EPA signed an agreement in which they pledged to implement the measures and the U,S.
Energy Information Administration said the agreement will reduce carbon pollution from U. S. power plants by 20 percent by 2030.
While Republicans have said that the President’s plan is more ambitious than that of the Trump administration, they have called on the administration to reduce the emissions of coal and natural gas power plants while also pursuing other climate goals.