Letter to the editor: Pittsburgh ready for 100% renewable energy
Two years ago, I was standing at the Highland Park Reservoir at a press conference next to Mayor Bill Peduto, City Councilwoman Deb Gross and community leaders announcing that privatization was off the table for our dysfunctional water system. This was big news.
Little did I know that just minutes later, this news would be overshadowed. Peduto was thrust into the (inter)national spotlight, pitted against President Trump, who had just claimed to represent the people of “Pittsburgh, not Paris” as he bowed out of the Paris climate agreement. In that moment, Peduto took the narrative back and said that not only would Pittsburgh stick to the Paris accord, but we’d move to 100% renewable energy. In that moment, I was a proud Pittsburgher.
June 1 marked two years since that moment, and Pittsburgh has yet to commit to 100% clean, renewable electricity community-wide and join over 120 cities and five states that have made such a commitment. We’ve seen minimal investment in the renewable sector or reductions in fossil-fuel consumption.
But we still have an opportunity to lead. Pittsburgh should finally commit to going all-in on renewables — and craft a local Green New Deal to build out a local clean energy future for all.
The writer is a community organizer for the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign.