Michael Bloomberg To Donate $500 Million To Help Close U.S. Coal Plants
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Thursday that he will donate $500 million to fund a new initiative that will shut down every remaining coal-fired power plant in America by 2030. This initiative is part of an effort to counter the pro-fossil fuel agenda that the White House has backed,
“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,” Bloomberg told The New York Times in a statement. “Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we.”
The new campaign, called Beyond Carbon, will allow the $500 million to be spent over the next three years and will fund the lobbying efforts of those in local governments to help states transition to renewable energy. Bloomberg, who has ruled out a bid for the presidency, has stated that this fund will also be spent on helping America transition away from a reliance on natural gas.
Beyond Carbon is the largest philanthropic donation ever to combat climate change, according to the Associated Press. The full plan will be officially unveiled on Friday.
Building on the success of the Beyond Coal campaign, I’m committing $500 million to launch @BeyondCarbon the largest-ever coordinated campaign to tackle the climate crisis our country has ever seen. This is the fight of our time. https://t.co/FDkWBGo6zx
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) June 7, 2019
The existence of coal plants has been declining in the U.S. for years, with about half of the 530 plants being shut down since 2011. Instead, America has become reliant on natural gas, which accounts for about 35% of all the electricity generated in the country.
President Donald Trump, however, has continued to talk about the benefits of coal and has promised to save the dying industry while rolling back many environmental regulations that are meant to rein in pollution.
Bloomberg’s efforts are meant to bypass federal government regulations, similar to what many states have promised will be done when they use their own legislative and financial power to tackle the issue of climate change whether the White House supports it or not.