A buffalo job from Buffalo Bill

A buffalo job from Buffalo Bill

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, long a liberal (and not in the classical sense by any stretch of any assessment) slowly but steadily has morphed into a reliable water carrier for the extremism that “social democrats” represent.

Nowhere has this political ideology masquerading as sound public policy been more evident than in Peduto’s myopic, if not blind, embrace of “climate change” theology.

A crescendo in this mayor’s symphony of silliness reared its embarrassing head last week at a gathering of fellow traveling climateers at something dubbed the “Climate Action Summit” at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

“Let me be the first to say that I oppose any additional petrochemical facilities,” he told the summit’s rather sparse, but nonetheless cheering, “crowd” of 350. “We do not have to become the petrochemical and plastics center of the U.S.”

Noting that “the ring is out of the bell” with the construction of Royal Dutch Shell’s ethane-cracking plant about 30 miles to the west along the Ohio River in Beaver County, Peduto says “building more such operations will come at a cost of new companies looking at and locating in Pittsburgh.”

It’s all that nasty downwind pollution that will envelop Pittsburgh, he contends. Never mind the facilities will be required to meet strict federal and state pollution requirements.

Additionally, Peduto’s ignorance is inversely proportional to the reality of ancillary manufacturing companies’ exploring the development of “downstream” operations in the region – a region where a lack of real job growth, especially in manufacturing, has redefined stagnant.

But the odds that they won’t be interested in Pittsburgh proper are, in large part, directly proportional to the Peduto administration’s unfriendly business climate. And make no mistake, this is an administration that lays landmines in the harbor of economic progress.

Of course, the grand “solution” of the climateers is solar and wind power, each heavily taxpayer-subsidized, and neither of which has come close to proving it can reliably replace those supposedly dastardly fossil fuels.

Both also have their own environmental downsides, from the carbon footprint required to manufacture solar panels (not to mention disposal issues for them and batteries), to wildlife concerns associated with wind turbines.

Yet again, too, Peduto took a swipe at Pittsburgh’s industrial heritage. As the Post-Gazette reported it:

“Mr. Peduto said the corporations and culture of the region continue to support extractive industries and petrochemicals facility development tied to the region’s shale gas boom, and that must change if the region is to move ahead economically.”

So, perhaps the mayor will immediately disavow Pittsburgh’s many philanthropic foundations built on such industries and whose benevolence Peduto & Co. continue to demand pay for their “social justice” gobbledygook?

And what of Peduto’s frequent foreign trips as he battles “climate change.” Peduto’s carbon footprint surely must be taking on the proportions of an entire generation (or two) of Bigfoot(s).

Thus, the mayor’s climate righteousness drips with hypocrisy. What a buffalo job from Buffalo Bill.

Even Peduto allies, mincing no words, have called the mayor out for his increasingly extreme climate pronouncements.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, while stressing the commonsense need for environmental responsibility, was virtually spitting nails in a KDKA Radio interview. And Stephani Pashman, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, panned Peduto in a statement as well.

Even organized labor blasted Peduto, though employing an intellectual oxymoron in the process.

“While I respect the mayor’s opinion, I wholeheartedly disagree with it,” said Darrin Kelly, president of the 100,000-member strong Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council.

“Calling to banish an entire industry is an insult to a lot of good hard-working men and women in organized labor and their entire way of life,” he said.

The oxymoron: How can anyone “respect” a wholly unrespectable and, frankly, delusional opinion?

Peduto retorts that “People will choose false hope over no hope every time. If we want to move them from opponents to environmentalists we need to put a paycheck in their hands.”

It’s an astounding statement considering the real falsehood here is the premise that renewables can, with any economic or operational efficacy, replace fossil fuels and that such paychecks are nothing better than bribes underwritten by the dubious conscription of taxpayer dollars to prop up this unsustainable “sustainability.”

Goodness gracious, sound public policy requires at least a modicum of common sense. That the mayor of Pittsburgh appears to have lost his raises grave doubts about his competency to govern.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).