One day after the Trump Administration formally announced its plans to rescind the Clean Power Plan, the Obama Administration’s climate change policy that has been held up in federal court, Michael R. Bloomberg announced a new commitment of $64 million to support the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign and other organizations working to advance the U.S. clean energy market at the state and local level.
Pollution from coal-fired power plants is the largest source of carbon emissions and kills 7,500 Americans annually, down from 13,000 when the Beyond Coal campaign began expanding in 2011 through support from Bloomberg.
To date, Bloomberg has invested over $100 million in protecting the environment and public health through its support of the Beyond Coal campaign. Since 2011, when Bloomberg Philanthropies first partnered with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, nearly 50 percent of the country’s coal-fired power plants have announced their retirement, and deaths related to coal pollution have decreased by 42%. The new round of funding aims to maintain progress in the face of proposed federal rollbacks of public health and environmental regulations, including the Clean Power Plan, which would have set carbon pollution standards for power plants.
“The Trump administration has yet to realize that the war on coal was never led by Washington — and Washington cannot end it,” said Bloomberg. “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. 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.”
“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,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Together, we have worked with local grassroots activists and partners in the nation’s most vulnerable communities to secure the retirement of 259 dirty power plants and the promise of a brighter future, putting at the center of our work a transition that leaves no one behind and that demands good-paying, family-sustaining jobs for workers who depended on the fossil fuel economy. All of this and we’re just getting started. Our movement is growing and our momentum is unstoppable. Our clean energy future is now.”