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Minnesota democrats oppose Paris agreement pullout

U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision Thursday that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Minnesota's governor and several Democratic members of the state's delegation to Congress each voiced their opposition to President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement Thursday.

Gov. Mark Dayton said the action would harm both the world and the state of Minnesota.

"President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement is terrible for our state, nation, and world. It will cause irreparable damage to our environment and our economy," Dayton said. "It will withdraw the United States, the largest energy consumer in the world, from the collective efforts to reduce severe environmental damage before it is too late.

Despite Trump's action, Minnesota's state government would not be swayed from its efforts against climate change, Dayton said.

"As damaging as this decision will be, it will not deter our efforts here in Minnesota," he said. "We will show the world what we can achieve by working together to conserve energy, to use cleaner and renewable energy, and to leave a livable planet to our children and grandchildren."

In a statement issued Wednesday, before Trump pulled out, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar warned the action would have dire consequences.

"The U.S. should not pull out of the climate change agreement signed by 195 nations," Klobuchar said. "Minnesota was recently ranked as one of the top 10 states in the country for clean energy—so our state knows how important this is. If the United States cedes its leadership on clean energy by backing out of the Paris climate agreement, it will hurt our ability to compete in the 21st century global economy. Plus, as military and security experts have reminded us, climate change is a threat to our national security, increasing risks of conflict, humanitarian crises, and damage to critical infrastructure. We need to keep building on the progress we've made to combat climate change and boost clean energy, not roll it back."

Al Franken, Klobuchar's colleague in the U.S. Senate, also condemned the move.

"President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is a catastrophic mistake that puts the short-sighted interests of his friends in the fossil fuel industry ahead of the safety and security of American people and the future of our planet," Franken said. "The Paris climate agreement brought together virtually the entire world—195 countries—to recognize the basic fact that climate change is a real, man-made, existential threat to the planet that demands broad international action. We don't have time to turn our backs on the rest of the world and bury our heads in the sand. We must address climate change now. The stakes are too high and the consequences too devastating to kick this problem down the road to future generations. Make no mistake, President Trump is not only ignoring scientific consensus—he's putting our children and grandchildren at risk, weakening our economy, and undermining America's credibility and leadership around the world. I call on President Trump to immediately reverse this terrible decision."

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, who represents Minnesota's 8th Congressional District and may run for governor, didn't mince words either.

"Addressing climate change is the great challenge of our time, and the president's decision to withdraw United States from the Paris Accords is a momentous setback for the United States and for all of humankind," Nolan said. "His move today abdicates our leadership in the world, undermines our economy and our national security, ignores the clear will of the American people and threatens the livability of our planet for generations yet to come."

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