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President Singles Out Pittsburgh In Withdraw Speech, Mayor Says City Will 'Follow Guidelines Of Paris Agreement'

WASHINGTON (KDKA/AP) -- President Donald Trump has announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, but will begin negotiations to "re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction."

Trump said during his White House Rose Garden announcement that the U.S. will exit the landmark climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions to slow climate change.

Trump says the deal "disadvantages" the U.S. and is causing lost jobs and lower wages.


The president specifically mentioned Pittsburgh during his speech, saying, "I was elected to represent Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Mayor Bill Peduto immediately responded to this statement on Twitter, saying Hillary Clinton received 80 percent of the vote in Pittsburgh.

Near the end of his speech, Trump referenced Pittsburgh for the second time.

"It is time to exit the Paris accord and time to pursue a new deal that protects the environment, our companies, our citizens and our country," he said. "It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with many, many other locations within our great country, before Paris, France."

Peduto again turned to Twitter to react, saying the city would "follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future."

Later Thursday evening, Peduto released a formal statement on Trump's decision.

The statement read in part:

"I'm appalled that the President used my city to justify his unacceptable decision, as most other Pittsburghers are. I was one of the nation's mayors who went to Paris to fight for the accords, and my city, which has finally bounced back from decades of industrial carnage, will do all it can to promote its own environmental standards."

Peduto called the decision "disastrous for our planet" and said Trump's decision "has made America weaker, and the world less safe."


Thursday evening, Peduto appeared on CNN's "The Situation Room". He said he will issue an executive order Friday which will commit the City of Pittsburgh to the standards of the Paris agreement.

"I think that those that have been at the frontlines for the past 20 or more years now have a more serious commitment to make toward it," Peduto told CNN. "And we're not going to find the help in the federal government, which means that cities around this country will ban together, and I've been talking to mayors around the country who agree."

The mayor believes the Paris agreement is good for the city and the state's economic development. According to Peduto, 66,000 Pennsylvanians are employed in renewable energy industry, including 13,000 people in Pittsburgh.

At a hastily-called news conference late Thursday, a clearly irritated Mayor Peduto said he was personally offended by the president's Pittsburgh reference, calling Trump's remarks the result of sloppy speech writers, who failed to check their facts.

"In his speech writer's minds, Pittsburgh is this dirty old town that relies on big coal and big steel to survive and he represents these people who are Pittsburgh, and he ignores the sacrifices we made during the past 30 years to get back on our feet and create a new economy."

Pittsburgh once had a reputation as the "smoky city." Things started changing decades ago when smoke control ordinances were enacted. Then, of course, there was the city's renaissance of the 1950s and 1960s.

KKDKA-TV's Ralph Iannotti asked the mayor what he would say to the president, if he had a chance to sit down and talk to him.

"I would take the opportunity to tell him the story of Pittsburgh that I have seen for more than 50 years," Peduto said. "About remembering what it was like driving down the Parkway East and seeing the fire come out of the stakes. Of watching friends and family have to leave, wondering if Pittsburgh could get back on its feet again. What the Paris Agreement calls for was the path we took in order to get where we are."

Other Pennsylvania officials also spoken out against Trump's decision.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey responded to Trump's comment on Twitter, saying, "If [Trump] really wanted to help the people of Pittsburgh, he would protect their clean air & opportunity for jobs."

Gov. Tom Wolf said the decision to withdraw from the Paris accord was not a good choice for Pennsylvania's energy economy.

Other area leaders released statements through Twitter following the president's announcement:

Read Democrat Rep. Mike Doyle's full statement at this link.

Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus said in a statement: "The Paris Agreement is not about climate. It is about control. It certainly is not about growth; it is about redistribution... Ending anti-growth obstacles like the Paris Agreement opens the way to a brighter future, with America in the lead."

Finally, this statement was released by Allegheny County Democratic Committee Chair Nancy Patton Mills: "President Trump did not win in Pittsburgh or in Allegheny County. In fact, Allegheny County is the only county in the rest belt who outperformed our 2012 Democratic Presidential results. We don't need President Trump to reinvent Pittsburgh. Under the leadership of Rich Fitzgerald and Bill Peduto, we're already doing that."

Trump's announcement fulfills one of his top campaign pledges. But it also undermines world efforts to combat global warming.

The U.S. had agreed under former President Barack Obama to reduce emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 - about 1.6 billion tons.

About an hour after Trump's speech announcement ended, the Associated Press reported that France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement saying the Paris climate accord can't be renegotiated.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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