CHARLESTON, WV – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced a pledge of $500 million towards the Beyond Carbon initiative, a campaign in partnership with the Sierra Club, to close all of America’s coal-fired power plants and to stop the construction of natural gas power plants.
Gov. Jim Justice has issued the following statement in response:
“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Beyond Carbon initiative is short-sighted, nonsensical and, if successful, will have a calamitous impact on West Virginia and American workers.
“The U.S. continues to make dramatic reductions in carbon output and the vast majority of the greenhouse gas generation is coming from abroad, chiefly in the Pacific Rim countries. For crying out loud, if Bloomberg wants to make a positive impact, he should focus his efforts in Asia and get those countries to bring their carbon output in line with America’s.
“West Virginia is an ‘all-in’ energy state. We mine coal, produce natural gas and we have a growing renewable portfolio. These industries provide life-sustaining jobs and have made our economy one of the fastest growing in the country.
“Michael Bloomberg and the radical Sierra Club organization have declared war on the American worker. If this campaign is successful, massive numbers of West Virginians will lose their livelihoods and the U.S. economy will suffer greatly. And all of this for extremely minor global reductions of emissions.
“I stand with our State’s hundred of thousands energy, oil/gas, coal, pipeline, and utility workers and their families and challenge anyone anywhere who threatens to remove their livelihoods.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is plunging $500 million into an effort to close all of the nation’s remaining coal plants by 2030 and put the United States on track toward a 100% clean energy economy.
The billionaire Bloomberg’s investment in the Beyond Carbon initiative marks the largest ever philanthropic effort to combat climate change, according to the mayor’s foundation. The organization will bypass the federal government and instead seek to pass climate and clean energy policies, as well as back political candidates, at the state and local level.
“We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg considered but ultimately passed on seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Instead, he vowed to point his vast wealth and political connections toward fighting climate change and defeating President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg will formally unveil the Beyond Carbon effort Friday during a commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The initiative mirrors Bloomberg’s work on gun control, which has focused on bolstering state and local efforts. The former mayor’s financial contributions to Democratic candidates who backed stricter gun laws was also considered integral to the party’s ability to retake the House in 2018.
Bloomberg’s foundation has spent several years working with the Sierra Club to seek the closure of the nation’s coal plants. Since 2011, about half of the 530 plants across the U.S. have been closed.