Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump Opponents March in Oakland for Climate Justice

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump Opponents March in Oakland for Climate Justice

Article excerpt

Ahead of President Donald J. Trump's scheduled speech to supporters in Harrisburg on Saturday night, a larger-than-life version of Mr. Trump made an appearance on the streets of Oakland on Saturday morning to berate his opponents.

Sitting on Steve O'Hearn's shoulders and its movements controlled by a network of strings, Mr. Trump's puppet likeness blustered its way into a crowd preparing to march against the new president's environmental policies. "Climate change is a hoax!" yelled Mr. O'Hearn, who was dressed as Steve Bannon, Mr. Trump's chief strategist.

It was all a creative stunt, orchestrated by Mr. O'Hearn, a Pittsburgh-based public artist, that became a highlight of the Peoples Climate March in Pittsburgh, one of dozens of marches held nationwide on Saturday.

But the puppet - and the rally - underscored the serious political divide in Pennsylvania as Mr. Trump marks 100 days in office.

Of the divergent narratives emerging as the president hits a ceremonial time of reflection, the view on this side of the debate is clear: The Trump administration's rollback of Obama-era policies aimed at curbing carbon emissions throws an existential wrench into the climate and inflicts irreparable damage for all people.

"Climate change doesn't care if you're black or white, rich or poor," said Glenn Grayson Jr., an organizer with One PA, a group that advocates for low income and working class people. "When it rains, it rains on all of us. And when the sun shines, it shines on all of us."

In promising to "bring back" the coal industry, Mr. Trump's agenda in the first three months has seen perhaps the most advancement in energy and climate policy.

He has begun dismantling the Clean Power Plan, a spate of clean air regulations that critics say hastened the demise of coal-fired power plants. He has opened up federal lands for mining, revoking a moratorium put in place by the Obama administration. He has proposed cutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's budget by nearly a third.

It remains to be seen whether he pulls the United States from the Paris climate treaty, an historic agreement reached in 2015 that requires nearly 200 countries to make their economies cleaner. …

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