President Trump has decided to back the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord. This choice is short-sighted and unwise.

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, and its effects, like drought and increased wildfires are already being seen here in the American West. As the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide pollution, the U.S. should lead on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Abdicating leadership on climate issues will not make the problem go away. It will only slow growth in the robust clean energy sector and disadvantage one of the most dynamic sectors in our economy.

But if the President of the United States fails to lead on reducing carbon pollution, the American people and leaders in our western states will.

Here in our region, we have already seen states like Colorado leading on renewable energy development and tackling methane emissions. Nevada is working right now to increase the development of clean renewable energy, and Utah is a leader in advancing the adoption of electric vehicles.

Since 2005 western states have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 25%, kept electricity rates low, grown our economies and created tens of thousands of good paying jobs in the clean energy industry. Further emission reductions make sense since the cost of clean energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels in many instances across the West.

Western Resource Advocates will continue to work with elected leaders within our communities, with leaders in the clean energy industry, and with investors on smart and economical solutions to reduce carbon pollution.

Thank you for joining with us and for your support. The future can be bright if we make it so.

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