Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Thursday apologized to the Earth just moments before President Trump was expected to announce the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate deal.

"Dear planet, we're sorry," Murphy tweeted. "Please just hang on for three and a half more years and we'll fix this. We promise."

Democrats were left fuming on Thursday after Trump's decision to take four years to exit the agreement that was reached under the Obama administration. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the move a "devastating failure of historic proportions."

"Future generations will look back on President Trump's decision as one of the worst policy moves made in the 21st century because of the huge damage to our economy, our environment and our geopolitical standing," he said.

But conservatives applauded the move, and said the Paris deal would cost much-needed economic growth in return for a small, hard-to-measure benefit. President Trump gave a lengthy speech at the White House to justify the decision, and said he was elected to represent Americans, not other countries who got a better deal under the arrangement.

"I am fighting everyday for the great people of this country. Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord," Trump said.

Before Trump spoke, a senior White House official confirmed that the Trump administration would withdraw slowly over a period of several years, during which time it's possible elements of the deal could be renegotiated.

"We will initiate the process, which, all told, takes four years in total," White House energy policy adviser Michael Catanzaro confirmed to Capitol Hill staff on Thursday. "But we're going to make very clear to the world that we're not going to be abiding by what the previous administration agreed to."