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Sustainable Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh, PA

Straight Talk: No Turning Back on Sustainability

It’s been a rough week for the environment.  However following the money offers reason for optimism.  Congress, not the President, holds the purse strings and is quite a bit more tuned to public sentiment.  Not falling on deaf ears is the rising chorus of the public and marketplace with their message that the sustainability genie is out of the bottle and no presidential orders are going to put it back.  Even Exxon is calling on the White House to not retreat from the Paris Climate Agreement.  Seventy-five U.S. mayors, including Mayor Peduto, are refusing to comply and have affirmed their commitments to taking every action possible to achieve the principles and goals of the Paris Agreement.  The largest privately held coalminer in the U.S., Murray Energy, has acknowledged mining jobs are not coming back despite executive orders to squash the Clean Power Plan.  While cheap natural gas is depressing demand for other fossil fuels, renewables are beating all in the contest for investment and proven job creation.  And that’s just the beginning; researchers in Japan quietly just set a new record for the efficiency of mass-produced solar panels, powering the way to further acceleration of the clean energy future.  The real story is that while Washington is in denial, the markets and business imperative are fueling sustainable development.