On Thursday president Donald Trump announced the US will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
Soon after Trump's speech in the White House Rose Garden, a key federal environment committee member in Australia posted a Youtube video of Whitney Houston singing Star Spangled Banner to Facebook.
"THEY'RE OUT" wrote government MP Craig Kelly, chair of the backbench energy and environment committee, and someone who is sceptical about the long term impact of climate change.
The MP from the conservative wing of the Liberal Party told BuzzFeed News Trump made the correct call for the US.
"If you look at the details of the Paris Agreement, there is marginal environmental benefit," Kelly said. "People say that it’s going to save the world, [but] if you look at the proposed reductions, from a business [perspective] it's on the very margins.
"I think America has done the right thing."
He was definitely not alone. One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, who 24 hours earlier mocked scientists about whether penises caused climate change (really), was very happy with the decision.
Roberts also went after Leo.
Tasmanian conservative senator Eric Abetz suggested that Trump's decision should make Australia rethink the Paris Agreement.
"We must not sacrifice Australian jobs and push up household living expenses to embark on some politically correct, feel good exercise on the world stage which will do nothing for the environment," Abetz said.
Over the course of the day fellow right wing MPs piped up, exposing a split in the government on the issue.
In the wake of Trump's decision, Queensland MPs George Christensen and Ian Macdonald both told The Australian that the Paris deal should now be reconsidered.
Meanwhile, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg both said they were disappointed with Trump's decision, but that it wouldn't change Australia's commitment to the deal.
"It is disappointing," Turnbull said from Singapore. "We would prefer the United States to remain part of the agreement but we are committed to the Paris Agreement."
For Kelly, a key backbench voice on environmental issues, today showed that political leaders should be making the economy and cost of living concerns their top priority.
"We’ve signed up to it and we’ve committed," Kelly said. "There is no great need to consider pulling out but in the long term we need to keep an eye on the cost of the energy in Australia."
Mark Di Stefano is a Media and Politics Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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