PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Texas Senator Ted Cruz was not happy with President Joe Biden reentering the Paris Climate Accord. He says it does not benefit the people of Pittsburgh. It was similar to a statement by former President Donald Trump when he wanted to pull out of the agreement in 2017.
“From Pittsburgh to President Biden, thank you for taking this first step on climate. Now let’s finish that journey by transitioning to 100 percent clean renewable energy,” PennEnironment Clean Air Advocate Zach Barber said over Zoom.READ MORE: Shaler And North Allegheny Girls Basketball Teams Take Stand Against Racism
The environmental advocacy group says this is a good first step in fighting climate change.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto praised the president’s action. He said the agreement has a “special import for our city given our worldwide leadership in battling climate change.”
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was critical of Senator Cruz’s statement.
“Outrageous. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s been a climate denier. He was a COVID denier. We believe in science around here,” he told KDKA. “We’ll run what we need to do here, Senator, and keep your nose out of our business.”
Senator Cruz appeared to double down on his statement Thursday by tweeting out an image of a bumper sticker that says Pittsburgh is greater than Paris.
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Who do you stand with? Paris or Pittsburgh?
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 21, 2021
“We have green initiatives that have happened around here, not just with our governmental side of things, but our private sector,” Fitzgerald said.
According to Duquesne Associate Professor of History Andrew Simpson, there is a misconception that Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh region still just have jobs in steel mills. He said in recent decades, it’s become more in the tech sector, like at the Bakery Square facility in East Liberty.
“We’re certainly a city now that is working very hard to build a reputation that is addressing key issues like climate change and sustainability,” Dr. Simpson said over Zoom.
He said Pittsburgh has worked to address environmental issues for decades. It goes beyond our borders and requires a global effort.
“I think that’s why we’ve seen the push back in the recognition that Pittsburgh wants to be part of the global solutions,” Dr. Simpson said.
“It is also improving our quality of life here. So companies continue to grow here,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald feels change is gradual. He says in fighting climate change, you can face two extremes.
“Extremists who don’t want to do anything, Senator Cruz, who have their head in the sand. The flat-earth society that basically doesn’t believe in science,” Fitzgerald said in the Allegheny County Courthouse courtyard. “You have other people who want to shut everything down tomorrow.”
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg weighted in on Twitter. She is happy the United States rejoined what she called the Pittsburgh climate agreement.
So happy that USA has finally rejoined the Pittsburgh Agreement. Welcome back!MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 3 Confirmed Cases Of UK Coronavirus Variant
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) January 21, 2021