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Entergy CEO says Trump leaving Paris accord does not change much

  • Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault said that President Donald Trump pulling the United States from the Paris Agreement does not change much for his company.
  • Known to be a proponent of reducing emissions, Denault told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer that his company will stay the sustainable course.
  • The CEO said that over time, Entergy will move toward renewable energy sources.

President Donald Trump may have pulled the United States from the Paris climate agreement, but Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault said that does not change much for his business.

"In reality, what we're going to do with our asset mix is unlikely to be different now than it would've been with the Paris accord," Denault told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Friday.

The CEO said that Entergy, an energy player making the transition from being a wholesale power generator to being a Southern utility play, is already moving away from less sustainable power sources like coal.

"We burn very little coal as it is. We have 50-year-old coal plants. It's only about 7 percent of our generation," Denault said. "Over time, they are [going to close] because you just don't spend the money on 50-year-old plants to keep them going that you would with the new technologies being much more efficient, much more environmentally friendly."

Watch the full segment here:

A known proponent of reducing emissions, Denault said Entergy is now building more sustainable energy plants. The money once spent on coal is going towards natural gas, nuclear, and, over time, will shift to renewable sources of energy as those costs come down, he said.

To Denault, Entergy's transition to becoming more of a pure-play energy provider means a more stable, predictable growth trajectory, as well as reliable earnings and dividends for shareholders.

"We've got a great growth opportunity in that utility, so it's really a capital allocation question as much as anything else," Denault told Cramer. "Where are you going to put your money? Are you going to put it in those assets that are a commodity play that are losing money, or are you going to put it into the tremendous growth that we have in the utility?"

And as the company solidifies its transition, with Tropical Storm Cindy marking a test of resilience for 35,000 of Entergy's clients who had outages during the storm, Denault sees his residential customers becoming more responsible with their energy sources, too.

"[In] the residential sector, we've seen flat to declining growth," he said, attributing the lag to homes in Entergy's areas of operation becoming more energy-efficient. "That is what's playing across the country as it relates to the residential sector."

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