PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — President Donald Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh brought people who were protesting the natural-gas drilling industry.
The President was the keynote speaker Wednesday at the Shale Insight Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Two dozen environmental activists remained in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, warning against the dangers of fracking and horizontal drilling for natural gas.
“Our air in Allegheny County is the fifth-worst in the entire nation,” said Bethany Hallam, who is running for the Allegheny County Council. “And elderly people and people with immune-suppressant disorders are not able to go outside because it’s literally deadly for them to breathe in our air.”
“If our communities don’t have clean water when our children are growing up with poisonous water, then we have a problem,” said activist Lorenzo Rulli.
Road closures began at midnight Wednesday morning and continued throughout the day.
Trump’s motorcade also disrupted traffic near the Pittsburgh International Airport when Air Force One touched down around 3 p.m.
Heavy equipment was in place around the Convention Center as a safety measure, and there was a heavy police presence patrolling downtown.
A crowd of roughly 2,000 people greeted the President on the floor of the convention center with enthusiastic cheering and clapping as he walked on stage.
President Trump stood alongside union leaders and natural gas industry leaders, giving a speech that lasted more than 60 minutes.
He said we are in an “energy renaissance” and said the oil and natural gas production in Pennsylvania isn’t just about energy, it’s about jobs.
“American energy belongs to hard-working men and women like you who get up every day and make this country run,” President Trump said. “Today I am proud to declare that I’ve delivered on every single promise I’ve made at this conference three years ago and much, much more.”
This morning protests before the President’s visit and speech took on a different feel.
Fourteen people were arrested around 9:30 a.m. after they blocked off the ramp from the Fort Pitt Bridge refusing to move after warnings.
In the afternoon, a large group demonstrated in the heart of downtown.
The group carried signs and chanted “rise up” and “you’re not welcome here Donald Trump.” That led to Pittsburgh Public Safety shutting down Penn Avenue and Tenth Street as hundreds filled the intersection.
The roads later cleared and every street was reopened to the public.
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