Letter to the editor: Pittsburgh needs to go green
I support Mayor Bill Peduto’s opposition to the proposed petrochemical expansion in this region. Given we are at 412 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere and still increasing, the time for us to dither over shifting away from fossil fuel is over.
This whole thing smacks of greed and a lack of courage and imagination. If we tried, really tried, I’m sure we could attract truly green businesses here that would provide jobs for folks in the long term, without the environmental nightmares that the petrochemical industry has left in its wake. In regard to the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County, as Matt Mehalik of the Breathe Project has made clear, we paid way too much, $1.65 billion in tax breaks for 600 permanent jobs. Compared to New York state, which projects 40,000 jobs resulting from its investments in green tech, the average Pennsylvania taxpayer got screwed.
Also, we live with a plastics crisis. Plastic is present in our water, seafood and virtually everything else we can thing of, and its health effects are unknown. The last thing we need is more conventional plastic, but that’s the only way to keep the gas industry going: make something that they can shove out into the market and not be responsible for the damage it does.