FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 4, 2017
Contact: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726
Citizens Protest Trump’s Decision to Pull U.S. out of Paris Climate Agreement
Protesters Deliver Copy of Pope Francis’ Encyclical to Trump Ally Toomey with Message Climate Change Is Real
Allentown, PA – Environmental advocates and concerned citizens from Berks County, the Lehigh Valley, Carbon County, and surrounding areas converged at Senator Pat Toomey’s Allentown office to protest President Trump’s announcement on Thursday that he would be withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.
The protesters chose to rally at the Senator’s office since his views on climate appear to be closely aligned with those of the President. “Senator Toomey supports the withdrawal from the Paris Accord as it would not have protected our environment and would have been particularly harmful to our economy and job creation,” according to his spokesman.
Toomey also has the worst voting record on the environment in the Senate when his time in office is taken into account. Toomey, a Catholic, will receive a copy of Pope Francis’ Encyclical. “We didn’t deliver a second copy for Senator Toomey to give to Trump, as he received a copy directly from the Pope days before choosing to ignore its contents,” explained Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth, one of the coordinator’s of today’s protest.
“Trump’s move was disappointing, but not surprising. His repeated claims that climate change is a hoax and his utter disregard for the environment t are well known to all at this point. Congress is irresponsibly enabling this president,” said Feridun. “It is incumbent on the states to do for their constituents and their planet what the federal government clearly won’t do. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf, our legislators, and our regulators have worked hard to expand the market for fossil fuels, not transition off of them. Now it’s up to the people to lead from the ground up.”
“Trump’s decision shows his blatant disregard for not only the planet but everyone else but himself and his cronies in the oil and gas industry,” said Tara Zrinski, co-chair, Northampton County Council of Democratic Women’s Environmental Committee. “The Paris Accord represents the consensus and commitment of 195 other countries, violating this agreement not only jeopardizes the US position as a diplomatic world leader but will put the US at an economic disadvantage while other countries gain market dominance in solar and renewable energy fields.”
“The Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement means that it is now time for Congress to step up and do what is right,” said Karen Poshefko of Citizens’ Climate Lobby-Lehigh Valley. “Bipartisan solutions are starting to emerge in the U.S. House of Representatives. Forty Representatives–20 Republicans and 20 Democrats–have joined the new bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus to take action on this most critical issue. We urge Representative Charlie Dent to join the caucus and ensure that the Lehigh Valley is at the table during this critical time.”
Donald Miles, Sierra Club Lehigh Valley Chair, submitted the organization’s statement on the decision. “Donald Trump has made a historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality. Trump has abandoned the standard of American leadership, turned his back on what the public and the market demand, and shamelessly disregarded the safety of our families just to let the fossil fuel industry eke out a few more dollars in profits.”