This week’s must read: Why some Republicans are warming to climate action (Christian Science Monitor)

This week’s must laugh: Sen. Tom Carper is not exactly a card-carrying member of the eco-right, though he’s not afraid to work with us. This former Senate staffer loves his floor chart (as well as the sense of humor).

Needless to say, this week all eyes (and calculators) were on the Administration’s federal budget proposal, while President Donald Trump continued his overseas travel with a visit to the Vatican and a meeting of the G7.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis gave Trump a signed copy of his 2015 encyclical on the environment, which urges action to reduce carbon emissions as a moral imperative. “I’ll be reading them,” Trump said of the encyclical and the Pope’s 2017 message on peace, also presented as a gift. At the time the papal document on climate was released, then-candidate Trump was critical of the Pontiff. (For a recap, read our Sept. 24, 2015 alert Trump says Pope is wrong on climate change.) After the meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the Vatican urged the U.S. to remain a party to the Paris climate accord. “But we had a good exchange [on] the difficulty of balancing addressing climate change… and ensuring that you still have a thriving economy and you can still offer people jobs so they can feed their families,” Tillerson said. “And that’s a difficult balancing act… We look forward to having further talks with them on climate policy.”

Speaking of Paris, Sen. Rand Paul penned an op-ed, Say au revoir to Paris climate agreement. He introduced a Senate resolution on Monday asking Trump to pull the U.S. out of the international climate deal.

Also this week, Office and Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended the President’s budget proposal, specifically cuts made to efforts to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. “We want to do some climate science but we aren’t going to do some of the crazy stuff that the previous administration did,” Mulvaney said. “Do we target it? Sure. Are a lot of the EPA reductions aimed at reducing the focus on climate science? Yes. Does it mean we are anti-science? Absolutely not.” The budget proposal would slash the Office of Air by 70 percent and eliminate a greenhouse gas reporting program, among other suggested cuts.

National Economic Council Director Gary “Carbon Tax” Cohn told reporters he expects climate change to come up during a G7 session on “global issues.” He said Trump is ” interested to hear what the G7 leaders have to say about climate,” adding that Trump has heard “arguments that are persuasive on both sides.” Cohn reiterated the President’s concern that the U.S. emissions reduction pledge would be “highly crippling to the U.S. economic growth.”

Did you miss the two op-eds our young En-sider members wrote? Never fear, read them here. We couldn’t be prouder of Vernon Lindo (Orlando Sentinel) and Sam Ressin (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) for their initiative and commitment to free enterprise.

Happy long weekend to and from the eco-right.