Pittsburgh mayor hits back after Trump invokes city in climate speech

Bill Peduto: City went for Clinton

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Donald Trump invoked the people of Pittsburgh to defend his climate change decision Thursday, and the city's mayor bristled in response.

Explaining his choice to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, Trump said: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Pittsburgh's Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto, in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," said Trump was off-base to point to his choice as benefiting the city -- in part because Pittsburgh swung strongly for Hillary Clinton.

"The city of Pittsburgh voted for Hillary Clinton with nearly 80% of the vote," Peduto said. "He may be talking about all of western Pennsylvania, but it's a far cry from being Pittsburgh."

Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County, a blue pocket in the red region of Western Pennsylvania. Allegheny as a whole swung by more than 10 points for Clinton.

Peduto told CNN affiliate WPXI he was "outraged" at Trump's line.

"Pittsburgh is the example," Peduto said. "We were that city that China is like today where the smoke was so, filled the air so much, that the streetlights would stay on 24 hours."

Peduto told CNN he would issue an executive order Friday pledging Pittsburgh would follow through on carbon reduction goals.

It's up to cities -- not the federal government -- to ensure carbon emission guidelines are being followed, according to the mayor.

"In cities across America, you'll see mayors standing up and saying, 'we got this,' " he told AC 360.

When host Anderson Cooper asked him whether he has a message for the President, the mayor said: "What you did was not only bad for the economy of this country, but also weakened America in this world."

On Twitter after Trump's speech, Peduto pushed back against the President invoking Pittsburgh.

"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," Peduto tweeted.

However, Russia signed on to the Paris agreement, and the US is joined only by Syria, a war-torn nation, and Nicaragua, which argued for a stronger agreement, in opposing the international accord.

Peduto told CNN he was in Paris when the agreement was being forged and also argued that responsibility for the bulk of the US commitments lay with the states, not Washington.

The Pittsburgh area has a noted air pollution issue. The American Lung Association gave Allegheny a failing grade in its most recent "State of the Air" report.


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