PITTSBURGH, Pa.— A week ago, President Donald Trump gave his justification for his historic decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
The line seemed designed for Trump’s base — conservatives who lament the U.S.’s decline as a manufacturing powerhouse, and who don’t understand or don’t want to understand why scientists warn about climate change. But for many Pittsburghers, the shout-out was a shock — and not a welcome one, as Vocativ found out in a visit to the Steel City in the wake of Trump’s comments.
“The kind of overwhelming sentiment in Pittsburgh was, keep our city’s name out of your mouth,” said Kelsey Halling, director of sales at Thread, a Pittsburgh company that recycled Haitian plastic and works it into fabric that’s used in American brands like Timberland and Kenneth Cole.
It perhaps shouldn’t be surprising — Pittsburgh didn’t like Trump much to begin with. While Trump loves to tout the fact that he won the majority of U.S. counties in the 2016 election, and won most of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is the one part of western Pennsylvania he couldn’t penetrate. Allegheny County, where the city sits, strongly preferred Hillary Clinton.