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Trump advisers to meet Tuesday to discuss Paris climate agreement

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Scott Pruitt has previously told energy executives he wants to be pro-environment and pro-growth

US President Donald Trump's top environment official has called for an "exit" from the historic Paris agreement in what appeared to be the first time such a high-ranking official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by almost 200 countries to fight climate change.

Companies from Starbucks and Pepsi to oil giant ExxonMobil and coal producer Cloud Peak Energy have lobbied the Trump administration to stay in the Paris agreement.

The rule would have required utilities by next year to cut the amounts of toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury in the wastewater piped from their plants into rivers and lakes.

The climate agreement struck in Paris in 2015 was considered one of former President Barack Obama's biggest environmental achievements. The country said it expects such funding to create roughly 13 million jobs, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and lessen the smog that has long plagued Beijing and other Chinese cities.

Politico reported Friday that the meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday at the White House.

Pruitt has emerged in recent days as a staunch opponent of the pact, telling Fox & Friends Thursday that "it's something we need to exit, in my opinion".

"Finally.Pruitt's decision to extol the virtues of a coal mine flies in the face of everything we know about the science of climate change and the economics of energy policy", Rumper added. In January, China's National Energy Administration outlined a plan to make massive investments in clean energy through 2020, even as President Trump has focused nearly exclusively on supporting the fossil fuel industry. Lower-level White House aides have been discussing the issue behind the scenes for weeks, with several trying to build a case for remaining in the agreement.

A White House spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump may also choose to stay in the agreement and reduce the emissions commitment.

Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation have been agitating for the president to keep his campaign promise to withdraw from the agreement. "If the Trump administration truly wants to strengthen our economy and deliver a better deal to American families and businesses, it would follow through on its promise and pull out of the agreement altogether". They're expected to decide before a G-7 summit in late May.

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