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Withdrawal From Paris Agreement Could Cost Midwest Commodities Producers

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Missouri moves over $42 billion in commodities through its waterways and ports each year.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Missouri moves over $42 billion in commodities through its waterways and ports each year.
Phil Stang is the mayor of Kimmswick, Missouri. Colin Wellenkamp is the executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative.
Credit EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
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Phil Stang is the mayor of Kimmswick, Missouri. Colin Wellenkamp is the executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative.

The Trump administration’s formal withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change has members of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative concerned. The organization is worried that the withdrawal could lead to U.S. commodities producers being taxed or penalized by countries that signed on to the accord, something that the European Union has signaled it would like to pursue.

“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you can’t make any decisions,” said Phil Stang, the mayor of Kimmswick, Missouri. “The Mississippi River basin is the biggest commodity developer in the world, and that’s a severe impact on the entire Midwest.”

Thursday on St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Stang, as well as with the executive director of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, Colin Wellenkamp, about what leaving the accord could do to the competitiveness of Midwest commodity exports.

Hear their conversation:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

Copyright 2019 St. Louis Public Radio

Emily Woodbury joined the St. Louis on the Air team in July 2019. Prior to that, she worked at Iowa Public Radio as a producer for two daily, statewide talk programs. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. She got her start in news radio by working at her college radio station as a news director. Emily enjoys playing roller derby, working with dogs, and playing games – both video and tabletop.