The Trump Administration with Scott Pruitt leading the charge may be dismantling the Clean Power Plan, but former Mayor of New York City is doing his part to advocate for cleaner sources of power in the U.S.
Hours after President Trump made his plans for the Clean Power Plan clear, Bloomberg announced he would contribute $64 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal program.
With this additional contribution to the Sierra Club, the 75-year-old former business and politician has to date reportedly invested over $100 million to various environmental causes over the years. For example, Bloomberg earlier this year launched a $3 million fund designed to shift coal country toward renewables; all the while the former three-term mayor has been vocal in his insistence that the U.S. remain a signatory to the Paris Accords. To that end, he has also launched an initiative, “America’s Pledge,” that will collect and analyze climate change data collected by U.S. states, cities and businesses across the U.S. who are still aligned with the 2015 Paris Agreement.
In making last week’s announcement from the Sierra Club’s office in Washington, D.C., Bloomberg said he recognized the challenges imposed by the federal government’s reversal, yet he insisted that he is still optimistic about state- and local-driven clean power programs.
Bloomberg’s latest funding pledge will focus on continuing local clean energy initiatives. In the wake of the Trump administration’s proposed elimination of various environmental and public health regulations, including those that applied restrictions on how much carbon power plants across the U.S. can emit, Bloomberg aims to stymie the Trump White House’s pledge to accelerate U.S. coal production.
According to the Sierra Club, at least 259 coal power plants have been shuttered nationwide since its campaign launched in 2011 in 45 states. Bloomberg’s contribution to this effort will allow the Sierra Club to still plan with the private sector, local civic leaders, governors, state legislators and utilities to enact policies such as air quality standards and rules that can help pave the way for renewable technologies such as solar and wind power to scale in the coming years.
“The war on coal 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,” Bloomberg said in announcing this expanded support for the Sierra Club.
Bloomberg also noted one bright side of the energy debate: Coal plants continue to be retired at the same pace in the Trump administration as they did during Obama's presidency.
Image credit: Department of Interior/Flickr
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.