19 October 2017

Michael Bloomberg donates $64 million to anti-coal campaign in US

Former Mayor of New York City, billionaire, and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg has announced a new commitment of $64 million to support Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign; one day after President Donald Trump repealed the Clean Power Plan.

Up to date, Bloomberg has invested over $100 million in environmental protection and public health initiatives through his support to the Beyond Coal Campaign and through his open support to the environmental community over the years.

The partnership with Sierra Club has contributed to the retirement of nearly 50 percent of US’s coal-fired plants and, as a result, deaths related to coal pollution have decreased by 42 percent in the country. 

The new round of funding will be dedicated to maintaining progress, especially in the wake of proposed rollbacks from the Trump administration of public health and environmental regulations, including the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, a move that is expected to abolish carbon pollution standards for domestic power plants.

According to the latest stats from Sierra Club, 259 coal power plants have retired since the beginning of the campaign across 45 states after enforcing state and federal environmental laws and managing grass root campaigns. 

After President Trump announced its intentions to revive the coal industry to increase domestic energy production, Michael Bloomberg called the idea one of “the worst ideas that have ever come out of Washington”.

He had commented: "Coal jobs aren’t coming back. Trying to force taxpayers to subsidize them back into existence will only lead to more death and disease”.

Regarding its new funding initiative, Michael Bloomberg said: “The Trump administration has yet to realize that the war on coal was never led by Washington -and Washington cannot end it”.

“It was started and continues to be led by communities in both red and blue states who are tired of having their air and water poisoned when there are cleaner and cheaper alternatives available, cities and states that are determined to clean their air and reduce their costs, and businesses seeking to lower their energy bills while also doing their part for the climate”.

He added: “Without any federal regulations on carbon emissions, those groups have combined with market forces to close half the nation's coal-fired power plants over the past six years -and with this new grant, we aim to reach 60 percent by the end of 2020."

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club commented: "Mike Bloomberg’s partnership with the Sierra Club and our more than 3 million members and supporters has put our country on a path to cleaner air and cleaner water, good-paying clean energy jobs, and healthier communities that are safe from toxic coal pollution”.

The strategy for the new planning will support engagement directly with the private sector, mayors, governors, legislators, utility commissioners, and local officials to trigger policies such as air quality standards and rules that will enable the competitiveness of solar and wind power.

Carol M. Browner, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Board Chair of the League of Conservation Voters said: “By building victories in different states and on multiple policies, we can demonstrate strong public support for climate action, demonstrate success that others will want to replicate, and drive down the costs of clean energy”.

“Aggressive state and local action to remove the barriers that block a clean energy future can help the US move far closer to our goals”.

Read more about the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign here

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