Fourteen attorneys general are urging President Trump and his administration to rethink taking the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The group made their plea to Trump in a letter on Tuesday.
It came just days after thousands participated in March for Science rallies across the globe to both defend science and call for action on climate change.
The rallies also served as a response to the executive order Trump signed on March 28 that not unraveled regulations his predecessor, Barack Obama, put into place to protect the environment, promote clean energy and more. The executive order also indicated that he is mulling taking the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement was signed by representatives from nearly 200 countries on Earth Day 2016, and as of this month, 143 countries have ratified it.
The attorneys general who signed the letter are from Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and American Samoa.
It started by acknowledging the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, which was Saturday.
“We confront threats to our planet greater than ever envisioned by those who sounded the alarm almost half a century ago,” they wrote. “Climate change, if left unchecked, will lead to global environmental dislocation and disaster on a scale we likely cannot imagine.”
But thanks partly to the Paris Climate Agreement, they said, “we have reason to be hopeful” because the agreement “has the potential to achieve a reversal of our current trajectory.”
The attorney generals want Trump to “maintain and reconfirm” U.S. commitment to the agreement because climate change is “a problem threatening the well-being of everyone on Earth.”
Without mentioning Obama’s name, the officials said the U.S. showed “exemplary leadership” to secure the global arrangement and we “should continue to lead by fulfilling its promise.”
The letter pointed out was that climate change would threaten national security, the economy, the nation’s business community and American people, all issues that were and have been cornerstones of Trump’s campaign and which he has continued to promote since he became president.
Trump is expected to sign executive orders that would build on previous orders that made way for “job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production” and review “overly restrictive” offshore drilling regulations, an anonymous official told Reuters.
They are also expected to address the 1906 Antiquities Act, which allows presidents to protect federal land and water areas as national monuments to protect them from development, mining and drilling.
Trump has said that past administrations “overused” the act. Obama designated more than 1.6 million acres, the most by any president, in Utah and Nevada.