Federalism is coming to the rescue of our planet, and not a moment too soon. Today is one of those days to be grateful to our founders for devising a plan of government that requires power to be shared between the federal government.
We don’t usually run press releases in their entirety. But we believe this one is worth sharing. It’s really important news. It’s vital that people outside of the United States understand that the resistance to Donald Trump will not stand by as Trump and his regime attempts to abdicate America’s moral leadership.
In response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Edmund [Jerry] G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee today announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.
“I am proud to stand with other governors as we make sure that the inaction in D.C. is met by an equal force of action from the states,” said Inslee. “Today’s announcement by the president leaves the full responsibility of climate action on states and cities throughout our nation. While the president’s actions are a shameful rebuke to the work needed to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren, states have been and will continue to step up.”
“The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet. This administration is abdicating its leadership and taking a backseat to other countries in the global fight against climate change,” said Governor Cuomo.
“New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions. We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change which is why I am also signing an Executive Order confirming New York’s leadership role in protecting our citizens, our environment, and our planet.”
New York, California and Washington, representing over one-fifth of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, are committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26–28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan.
“The President has already said climate change is a hoax, which is the exact opposite of virtually all scientific and worldwide opinion,” said Governor Brown. “I don’t believe fighting reality is a good strategy — not for America, not for anybody. If the President is going to be AWOL in this profoundly important human endeavor, then California and other states will step up.”
Together, New York, California and Washington represent approximately 68 million people – nearly one-in-five Americans – and the states account for at least 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. California will continue to work closely together with other states to help fill the void left by the federal government.
With input from all participants, the U.S. Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.
Now that the Alliance is formed, the next step is to get other states to join and work on devising an interstate compact or some sort of other agreement that commits the states to aggressively reducing emissions. States participating in the Alliance should aspire to meet higher targets than what the Paris accords envision.
Oregon, Virginia, and Hawaiʻi should be invited to join the Alliance immediately. The number of states with governors who recognize the need for climate action may grow following next year’s midterms, and there will be an opportunity to further expand the alliance in defiance of Trump, Pruitt, and their minions.