The Cathedral of Learning is one of at least 25 buildings that the University of Pittsburgh prioritized for energy renovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Photo by Terry Clark/PublicSource)

Pittsburgh’s city government says it’s on track to meet climate goals in public operations. But what about the rest of the city?

While the city is taking the lead at reducing greenhouse gases from its own buildings and vehicles, it hasn’t yet kicked off one of its most important strategies: pressuring the biggest buildings in the city to stop using so much energy. And there isn’t a plan yet for how to reduce the next biggest source of emissions: energy use in people’s homes. 

How Karen Hacker worked to resuscitate the Allegheny County Health Department

Hacker, the county’s highest paid employee with a salary of more than $220,000, said she thinks she should be judged on the progress she’s helped to usher in, including reduced lead poisoning in children, fewer opioid overdose deaths and a steady decline in air pollution that is on the verge of coming into compliance with the law.

But a number of constraints made the work difficult.

A tale of two fires: Allegheny County health officials change approach after second fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton plant

After a Dec. 24 fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works, Allegheny County Health Department officials discussed internally how to respond. The department considered issuing an emergency order to require U.S. Steel to take steps to reduce its emissions, email records show. Officials went as far as drafting such an order, they said. But they didn’t issue it because the company was already voluntarily taking many of the steps the county believed would keep residents safe.