Walker responds to U.S. withdrawal from Paris agreement

Gov. Bill Walker says that in spite of a Trump administration decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement that Alaska would continue to work to increase resilience for Arctic communities.

The governor also committed on June 1 to work to boost national defense and security for the state’s 6,640 miles of coastline, and to provide energy leadership for the nation.

“Alaskans know that our landscape is changing at an accelerating pace,” Walker said. “We are experiencing social and economic upheaval caused by shrinking sea ice, rising sea level, increasing intensity of storms, and increasing coastal erosion. Alaska communities such as Shishmaref, Kivalina and Newtok are literally washing into the ocean,” Walker said.

“Erosion threatens remote radar sites essential to maintaining control of U.S. airspace when it is most needed to detect and counter Russian incursions. Melting permafrost imperils military installations in Interior Alaska. Easier maritime and air access to Alaska creates homeland security and defense threats.”

President Trump, in a sometime rambling speech at the White House, said his decision was a “reassertion of America’s sovereignty,” and that the climate change pact negotiated under the Obama administration as unfair to U.S. workers. He contended that the Paris Agreement put the U.S. at a “permanent disadvantage” with China, India and others.

The Washington Post, in fact checking Trump’s reasons for withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, said the president relied on dubious facts and unbalanced claims to make his case that that the agreement would be damaging to the U.S. economy. The president, said the Washington Post, ignored the benefits that could come from battling to slow climate change, including potential green jobs,