PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — How important is climate change and environmental issues in this presidential election?
Mayor Bill Peduto says it’s near the top of the list.
Peduto knows how important this region is in electing the next president, and he sits on the board of Climate Power 2020, which claims President Donald Trump is a science denier.
Peduto thinks voters will keep this issue front and center as they vote in November.
“Climate change is viewed, especially among younger voters, as one of the top one, two, or three most important issues to them,” Peduto told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
The mayor says older voters care, too, as part of their legacy.
And Peduto says Pres. Trump has cost America four years of developing new green technologies, the jobs of the future.
“It’s very much the same as his take on COVID-19 when he called it a hoax,” says Peduto.
But Bernadette Comfort, chair of the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania, says climate change is not the driving issue in this state.
“I don’t think voters will be voting on that. I think they will be voting on the economy. What we are seeing under President Trump is the great American comeback,” Comfort said.
And she says Joe Biden, the likely Democratic nominee, is all over the map on fracking.
“I think with Joe Biden, you see a lot of flip-flopping,” Comfort said.
In an interview in April, Biden told Jon Delano that he would not ban fracking but would impose strong environmental protections.
That’s not good enough for Peduto.
“His comments have been a little to the center-right of my position, and I realize that,” says Peduto.
But Peduto says he hopes Biden will impose a moratorium on future petrochemical plants and invest heavily in green energy in Appalachia.