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Mike Bloomberg Contributes $64 Million to Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign

leonkaye headshotWords by Leon Kaye
Energy & Environment
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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 headshotLeon Kaye

Leon Kaye, Executive Editor, has written for Triple Pundit since 2010. He is also the Director of Social Media and Engagement for 3BL Media, and the Editor in Chief of CR Magazine. His previous work can be found at The GuardianSustainable Brands and CleanTechnica. Kaye is based in Fresno, CA, from where he happily explores California’s stellar Central Coast and the national parks in the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye