Is it a good business decision or a bad environmental plan for the future of, not only America, but the entire planet?
That’s the debate raging now after president trump annouced plans to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change accord.
That decision has brought out protests and petitions and lawmakers putting pens to paper to disagree with the decision.
One of the first, right here in Beaufort.
“Its an environmental issue its not a political issue,” said Billy Keyserling.
Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling says his job is to speak for his citizens and his city.
By signing off on the Paris accord, he believes he is doing just that.
“Its become unfortunately by both sides about this President and it shouldn’t be about that it should be about how we continue about how we better prepare the earth for the generations tro come,” said the Mayor.
“Is the agreement perfect? No. Is any agreement with 195 countries going to be, no. But i think just turning our back on what has been a movement that’s been working for years, and denying it is not a good example for the next generation.”
The Paris agreement was designed to improve the future of Earth’s environment for years, even decades to come.
Each of 195 countries signed off. Now three, Syria, Nicaragua and the United States have pulled out.
“If our country were to be the leader we should be we should be sitting down with the other signatories not walking away,” said Keyserling. “Saying how do we put more teeth in this. How do we make it work.”
Keyserling says this kind of local protest worked before, in 2015 when the Obama adminstration wanted to drill for oil off Beaufort’s shores.
“131 communities and 10s of thousands of businesses turned the Obama administration around on offshore drilling,” remembers Keyserling. “They (the Obama administration) said clearly the grassroots had been talking and we hear you. We are in a position to drum up support at the grassroots level because that’s where the voters are that’s where the people are who are affected.”
A plan that was then scrapped, now the President has opened the door to again.
“They said clearly the grassroots had been talking and we hear you,” said the Mayor. “We are in a position to drum up support at the grassroots level because that’s where the voters are thats where the people are who are affected.”
Voters who sign Keyserling’s paychecks as well and count on him to do what’s right for their city.
“We are advocates for the people who elect us, everybody isn’t going to agree with you,” said Keyserling. “But I urge people to think about the what and not the who.”
President Trump is already permitting seismic testing for drills.. the public has 30 days to make their comments on the idea.
South Carolina Representative Mark Sanford, 125 municipalities, and half a million fishing families are on record as being opposed to the testing.