CEOs blast Trump’s move to withdraw US from Paris deal


The leaders of some of the U.S.'s biggest companies on Thursday blasted President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw Washington from a landmark climate deal.

"Climate change is real. Leaving Paris [agreement] is not good for America or the world," Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX wrote on Twitter.

Musk said he would leave Trump's business advisory council -- fulfilling a promise he made Wednesday if the president failed to keep the U.S. in the historic accord.

The head of the Walt Disney Company, Robert Iger, joined Musk in leaving the council.

"As a matter of principle, I've resigned from the President's Council over the Paris Agreement withdrawal," Iger tweeted.

And Goldman Sachs' CEO Lloyd Blankfein used his Twitter account for the first time since signing up in June 2011.

"Today's decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership position in the world," according to Blankfein, who has been at the helm of the investment bank since 2006.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he was disappointed with the decision, while General Electric's CEO, Jeff Immelt, wrote, "Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government".

The CEO's of 30 major American companies issued an open letter to Trump in recent weeks, urging him to keep the U.S. in the deal.

The coal industry, on the other hand, applauded Trump who said Thursday the Paris agreement "handicaps" the U.S. economy "while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world's leading polluters".

Tyler White, who heads the Kentucky Coal Association told a radio station the deal prevented growth.

"The Paris agreement was simply an obstruction to achieving energy dominance in the United States of America," he said.

White said the administration of former President Barack Obama agreed to the accord without the consent of Congress, and added that it was "one of many examples of the former administration's executive overreach".

Kentucky, which is the third largest coal producing state in the country, is estimated to have lost more than 25,000 jobs since 2011.

With campaign promises of "unleashing an energy revolution" and bringing back coal mines, Trump managed last year to win eight of the top nine coal producing states in the presidential elections

The number of coal workers in the U.S. fell 12 percent in 2015 from the year before, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. coal production declined 10.3 percent in 2015, and plummeted to its lowest level since 1986, the agency data shows.

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