Gov. Jay Inslee says Washington state will continue to honor the goals of the Paris climate accord, despite President Trump's decision to withdraw from the international agreement to reduce global carbon emissions.
When asked what he'd like to say to Trump, Inslee replied: "Your resignation letter would be gratefully accepted by an optimistic and innovative nation."
Inslee said Washington will continue to fight climate change on multiple fronts, including investing in clean energy technology and upholding a cap on carbon emissions.
He said Trump's decision is inexcusable, and he wants foreign leaders to know that decisions at the federal level won't stop aggressive action on climate change by individual states.
"We governors intend to step in to the cockpit," Inslee said. "The president doesn't want this plane to take off, we're going to make sure it takes off with governors' leadership and that's happening across the United States."
Inslee joined the governors of New York and California on Thursday, creating a new alliance supporting the values of the Paris Agreement.
The U.S. Climate Alliance is a signal from the governors that they won’t let the U.S. back down from the commitment to tackling climate change.
The three Democratic governors are urging other states to join them. They say they’re committed to reducing emissions in the country by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels.
Republican congresswoman for eastern Washington, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, said in a statement that she agrees with the decision to withdraw. McMorris Rodgers is the highest ranking woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We all want to protect our environment and ensure we leave a better community for the next generation. The problem with the Paris Agreement is how it was done—without the approval of the American people or their elected representatives through a ratified treaty,” she said.
Her Republican colleague, Congressman Dave Reichert from Washington’s 8th Congressional District, sees the decision differently.
“The Paris Accord gives the United States a global platform to be a leading voice on international issues impacting our economy, security, and the environment," he said in a statement.
"Withdrawing from the agreement would cause us to lose this influence. I have always believed stewardship of our environment and sound economic policy are not mutually exclusive. With an innovative, market-based energy strategy, we can both reduce emissions and create jobs here at home."
With Trump's decision Thursday, the U.S. joins Nicaragua and Syria on the list of countries that are not a part of the Paris Agreement.