To them, it's best to retain the Paris agreement as a diplomatic tool and to keep a seat at the table on global climate policy. "It's something we need to exit in my opinion..."
The Paris Agreement is within the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gasses emissions reduction, adaptation, and finance starting in 2020.
That's a tack advanced in a letter to Trump, previously reported on by E&E News, by North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who argued that "the US should present a new pledge that does no harm to our economy", one that would highlight "the importance of baseload power generation, including highly efficient and low emission coal-fired and nuclear power plants".
But with the Paris accord, China said that, compared to 2005 levels, it would seek to cut its carbon emissions by 60 to 65 percent per unit of GDP by 2030.
"It's a bad deal for America", Mr Pruitt continued.
"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.
It may seem counterintuitive that the head of an environmental agency wants out of an agreement to protect the environment, but this is in line with President Trump's campaign vision to increase energy jobs. Now that the agreement has entered into force, it takes three years under its terms for a party to withdraw, followed by a one-year waiting period - a length roughly equal to Trump's first term in office.
"Companies with big natural gas portfolios will gain with climate policies that accelerate a shift already underway to replace coal with natural gas", Axios reported.
However, reports in March suggested that members of Trump's senior team were divided over pulling out of the deal, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his own daughter Ivanka advising him not to pull the plug over concerns it would upset major allies.
Mr Pruitt had called the Paris accord a "bad deal" in the past but does not appear to have previously gone so far as to call for the United States to withdraw.