President Trump might have been better off picking another city that begins with the letter “P,” instead of Pittsburgh. In a speech yesterday announcing the United State’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord, Trump said, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
The mayor of Pittsburgh fired back at the president on Thursday for his use of the city in explaining his decision to pull of of the Paris climate deal. Bill Peduto (D) tweeted “The United States joins Syria, Nicaragua & Russia in deciding not to participate with world’s Paris Agreement. It’s now up to cities to lead.”
Just two minutes later, the mayor decided to tweet another message about President Trump’s facts: “Fact: Hillary Clinton received 80% of the vote in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh stands with the world & will follow Paris Agreement.”
And then just minutes after that last tweet, Peduto fired another one at White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for quoting President Trump’s line about Pittsburgh: “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”
Former President Barack Obama joined the chorus of people protesting the president’s decision, saying in a statement that pulling out of the Paris deal is the U.S. rejecting global leadership. Obama continued, “Our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”
Mayor Peduto has strong reinforcements from the U.S. Conference of Mayors who made this statement: “The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a strong proponent of the need to address climate change and we support the Paris agreement, which positions the world’s nations, including the United States, to be energy independent, self-reliant and resilient,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, chairman of conference’s environment committee. “A thriving economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are compatible by focusing on new technology, investing in renewable fuel sources, and increasing our energy efficiency,” he added.
As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future. https://t.co/3znXGTcd8C
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) June 1, 2017
The mayor of Pittsburgh says the city will continue to follow the Paris agreement https://t.co/krCF3Drpvz
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 1, 2017
However, the beauty of this country is that as long as a municipality or state does not violate the constitution they can do as they please. If the people of Pittsburgh wish to use municipal laws to lower CO2 emissions and contribute; that’s great news! Additionally, no one can stop them from taking part in the Accord nor any other state or municipality. Is Trump leaving symbolic? Yes. But, if this is something that states and cities really believe in nothing can stop them.
I think this is something getting lost in the media narrative because some outlets are just using this to slam Trump. Instead, those against this decision should stand up, be productive, and do what this Mayor did. It’s time States stop riding the coattails of the federal government.
Credit: The Hill