Rep. Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that President Trump was “dishonoring” God and questioned whether his grandchildren will even be able to breathe air after his announcement a day earlier that he would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
“How is he ever going to explain to his grandchildren what he did to the air they breathe — assuming they breathe air,” she said at her weekly press conference.
She compared the president to racist segregationists during the civil rights movement, said Mr. Trump’s decision was yet another reason he needed to release his tax returns, and said the U.S. has isolated itself from the world, joining just Syria in rejecting the Paris agreement as too onerous.
The issue is personal for Mrs. Pelosi, who as House speaker staked her majority on attempting to pass a major piece of legislation to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The bill cleared her chamber but never saw action in the Senate, and analysts say the legislation’s unpopularity was a factor in Democrats losing control of the House in the 2010 election.
Having seen that failure, President Obama avoided going to Congress again, and instead tried to impose carbon limits from the outside, both by using executive regulatory powers and by signing the U.S. up for the Paris agreement, hoping international pressure could force the U.S. into action.
Now, Mr. Trump has erased those legacies in a matter of months, moving to rescind the regulatory schemes and announcing withdrawal from the Paris deal. In a Rose Garden speech Thursday the new president laid out a long list of problems with Mr. Obama’s deal.
Mr. Trump said he would be willing to renegotiate, but only if he can get an agreement that’s more fair to American workers.
Mrs. Pelosi said the president’s speech contained “false” justifications, and said he’s turned his back on everyone from children to the religious community — including Pope Francis, who just last week gave Mr. Trump a copy of his encyclical urging action on global warming.
The Democratic leader also blasted her GOP colleagues in Congress for refusing to see the problem as she sees it.
She particularly singled out current Speaker Paul D. Ryan as “pathetic” for praising Mr. Trump’s decision.
“So wrong, so uninformed, so irresponsible to future generations,” she said.