President Donald Trump will be joined at the White House Thursday by some of the most ardent foes of the Paris climate accord, in yet another indication that he most likely plans to announce the U.S. is withdrawing from the deal.
The audience for the 3 p.m. Rose Garden event will include Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance — a group that has received some of its funding from billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch — and some of his policy staff. Also present will be Competitive Enterprise Institute director Myron Ebell, who briefly led Trump’s transition efforts at the EPA, and members of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment.
The Heritage Foundation is sending founder Ed Feulner, Vice President Jack Spencer, Senior Vice President Bridgett Wagner, policy analyst Katie Tubb and Mike Needham, who runs Heritage Action.
All three groups waged an intensive campaign to persuade the administration to pull out of the deal.
"Why would we have gotten these invitations unless basically he was going to decide to pull out," said Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at CEI who will attend the announcement. "This is exactly why the country needed President Trump to make this kind of very hard decision but one that’s best for the long term interests for America and the world. … I’m honored to participate if only by being in proximity."
White House officials said Wednesday that Trump planned to withdraw from the 195-country climate agreement, although they have cautioned that it is always possible the president will change his mind.