On Wednesday, Mayor Bill Peduto doubled down on his support of investing in green energy jobs and environmental cleanup, rather than fracking and plastics.

Peduto speaks out publicly for the first time against a petrochemical expansion in Western Pennsylvania

Local environmental groups have lobbied Peduto to speak out publicly against the petrochemical buildout in the region, including the Shell ethane cracker plant under construction in Beaver County, but he said in the past that the Shell cracker decision is not under his jurisdiction and he cannot speak for the elected officials and residents of Beaver County. Recently, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported that ExxonMobil is looking for land to potentially build a cracker plant in Beaver County. 

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.