There are truly too many things to denounce in President Trump’s Thursday speech that removed the United States from the Paris Agreement. There’s the utter disregard for future generations, the blatant lack of understanding of the modern economy, the failure to grasp what climate change is — and then, the part where he forgot that Pittsburgh is the Paris of Appalachia! It’s like, where even to begin?
Yes — we’re here to discuss the much-trumpeted “I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris” line of Trump’s Rose Garden speech yesterday. Like many Trump lines, it’s so baffling that it takes a few moments and several hard cigarette drags to process, but it actually touches on the president’s pretty crucial misunderstanding of the rift between rural and urban America. Let’s break it down.
Many, many people — including Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto — have rushed to tell Trump that he was not elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, because the city of Pittsburgh voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. But the electoral college did elect Donald J. Trump as president of the United States, of which Pittsburgh is a strange, small, but critical member — much like Steve Buscemi pre-Boardwalk Empire. Therefore, Trump was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, because that’s how federal elections work. He said a true thing!
Trump’s actions, however, are no representation of what Pittsburghers truly want. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 70 percent of Allegheny County residents (which includes Pittsburgh) say they want 20 percent of their electricity to be renewably sourced; 80 percent support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant; 74 percent support setting strict limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants.
These policies would be more ambitious than what was called for in the United States’ proposed commitments in the Paris Agreement….