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Van Jones: Trump wants the US to be the world's best polluter

060117 MT Van Jones Pollution pic
Political commentator Van Jones suggested President Trump study California to learn how an economy can prosper with stronger environmental regulations. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

CNN contributor Van Jones said Thursday that President Trump in pulling out of the Paris Agreement wants the United States to outcompete the world on pollution.

"He wants the United States to be able to out-compete the world on the wrong basis. We want to be able to compete by being able to out-pollute everybody; we want to be the best polluters," said Jones, who served as a special adviser for green jobs to former President Barack Obama.

The Paris Agreement was signed by 195 countries in 2015 with the goal of reducing global emissions. Trump said Thursday it was time to exit the agreement because of the limits it would put on the U.S. economy.

"The Paris accord would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risk and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world," Trump said. "It is time to exit the Paris accord."

While Trump cited economic restrictions as one of the main reasons to leave the agreement, Jones said he should have looked at the performance of California's economy under heavy carbon regulations before making his decision.

"California already has a more carbon-constrained set of policies than anything in Paris, and California is now the sixth-largest economy in the world, and its growing better than anything in the United States,"Jones said.