Americans React to Trump Climate Move: Joy Inland, Disappointment on Coasts - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Americans React to Trump Climate Move: Joy Inland, Disappointment on Coasts

"Some of the fish are disappearing" ... ""They always blame the coal mines" ... "This is about the future of the planet"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate change accord, which he called unfair to America. He said he “was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” (Published Thursday, June 1, 2017)

    From coal country to the ports of Maine to the wind farms of the West Coast, Americans react to President Donald Trump's announcement Thursday that he's pulling the country out of the Paris climate accord.

    WARMING WATERS AND LOSING LOBSTERS
    Tim Pettis, a Maine lobsterman, said he's felt the effects of climate change in the waters he works in, and wishes President Trump could feel the same.

    "I think most people believe that the climate is changing over the years," Pettis said as he stood in front of stacks of yellow lobster traps. We can all see it, just because he doesn't want to believe it, he shouldn't be able to pull the whole country out on his own but he is the president so I guess you can."

    Pettis said he and his fellow workers in the far north have been beneficiaries from the changes so far, because there are fewer lobsters further south in places like New York and Connecticut.

    Trump Overturns Climate Regulations, Cites 'War on Coal'

    [NATL] Trump Overturns Obama-Era Climate Regulations in Effort Against 'War on Coal'

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at overturning environmental regulations and reviving the coal industry. Trump also railed against a so-called "War on Coal" as well as general federal regulations in his speech prior to signing the order, promising to strike down regulations in every industry by the "thousands."

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)

    "As the water keeps warming up, the numbers keep going down from the south up to us," Pettis said. "The last three or four years we've been doing better lobstering and I think it does have to do with that."

    "Some of the fish are disappearing," Pettis said. "We're catching fish now in our traps that are southern fish; it just tells you that the water is warming up every year a little bit."

    JERSEY SHORE REMEMBERS SANDY, FORESEES MORE STORMS
    In Belmar on the Jersey Shore, Tom Rodgers, owner of TR's Food Court, said he didn't feel qualified to talk about science.

    "You wanna know about Burgers, Fries I can tell you. You wanna know about climate, I'm really not an expert, so I leave certain things up to the experts. I just hope the president has done his due diligence and spoke to the right people."

    Rodgers' restaurant was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, as were the homes of many in Belmar including Sandy Snyder.

    "There was devastation here, the streets were full of sand and water, homes were damaged," Sandy said. "They call it the storm of the century, but why was there a storm of the century when there are reports that climate change is affecting the planet, I think we are going to see more of it and unfortunately if we don't take care of it now I think that is going to be the norm rather than the rarity."

    Trump Attends G-7 Summit

    [NATL] Trump Attends G-7 Summit

    President Donald Trump spends two days at the G-7 summit in Taormina, Italy. This is his last stop on his international trip, which stared in Saudi Arabia.  

    (Published Friday, May 26, 2017)

    Snyder said he thinks "it is a very, very big mistake for the US to pull out of this agreement, It will open the door for other countries, other countries "that ... are on the fence as far as watching climate control."

    RETIRED COAL MINER LAMENTS JOBS LOST
    In Centertown, Kentucky, retired coal miner Kenny Smith watched Trump's TV announcement with approval.

    "He's keeping his promise that he's going to help get the coal jobs back, help people get back to work, and that's what we need, anywhere in this country," Smith said. "You can go to Detroit, you can go to Pennsylvania you can go to West Virginia, there's people that have been laid off for years, they're just forgotten. And most of our factories have gone overseas, we need to get them back, I think he's trying to do that."

    Trucks constantly rumble through town from the Midway mine, a major employer, but production has fallen from around 10 million tons of coal a year to less than half that figure.

    Trump "said when he (got) elected, that's the first thing, jobs, jobs, jobs. That's what he said he'd do, and that's what he's doing," Smith said. "I mean, I'm proud of him."

    Smith, 67, dismissed the idea that coal is unhealthy or environmentally unsound. He pointed in the direction of a coal-fired power plant.

    San Diegans React to President Trump's Proposed Climate Change Deregulation

    [NATL-DGO] San Diegans React to President Trump's Proposed Climate Change Deregulation

    NBC 7's Artie Ojeda spoke to a local business owner in favor of potential deregulation, and a Climate Action Campaign leader who says that President Trump is "out of step."

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)

    "I've lived in this house since 1974 and that power plant has never made me sick," he said. "There's good jobs that come from power plants."

    WEST VIRGINIA COAL COUNTRY EYES REVIVAL
    In West Virginia's coal country, Tod Tuttle, the co-owner of a small roadside grocery store near two mines, applauded Trump for what he'd done for the local industry.

    "Under Obama our business was lacking big time. Trump's taken over and we've come back around," Tuttle said. "A lot of places here have come back around."

    West Virginia has had an uptick in coal production late last year and so far this year, attributed by industry officials to higher market prices and increased demand for metallurgical coal. Tuttle credits Trump.

    "When the mines are working it's booming like crazy," he said. "When the mines are down ... our business was just trickling."

    About the Paris agreement, he said that issue isn't really with coal itself, which is still needed for reliable electrical generation without outages.

    "You can burn the coal, and if these companies do it right," Tuttle said. "They always blame the coal mines. It's not the coal mines. It's the electric plants themselves."

    CALIFORNIA WANTS MORE WIND, CHANGE OF DIRECTION
    The president's decision disappointed Nancy Rader, executive director of the California Wind Energy Association.

    The Berkeley-based nonprofit is supported by makers of wind turbines, contractors, component suppliers and project developers.

    "I think it's pretty sad that Trump sees this in terms of a deal, as something as simple as that," Rader said. "This is about the future of the planet. This is about the health and safety of our children."

    California and other states already are working to reduce carbon emissions by shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy and the cost of such alternatives has dropped dramatically, she said.

    California and the United States must be on the "leading edge" of the shift in order to reap the greatest economic rewards, Rader said.

    3 Tips for a Greener Tomorrow

    [NATL] 3 Tips for a Greener Tomorrow
    You can take three easy steps in your daily life to make tomorrow greener for everyone.
    (Published Monday, April 18, 2016)

    Rader also said she was heartened that leaders of other countries "understand that Americans generally understand climate change, we want to do something about it."

    "Unfortunately, we have a president that doesn't get it right now," she said.

    David Martin, Terence Chea, Andrew Dalton and Krysta Fauria contributed to this report.