Bloomberg, Sierra Club Up Ante on Coal Plant Closings

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Washington, DC

The Sierra Club already claims credit for closing down 187 of America’s coal plants. Now the group, along with Michael Bloomberg, wants to up the ante. The Huffington Post reports they will spend another $60 million, while “setting a goal to close half of all coal plants in the U.S. by 2017.”

Before Wednesday, the Sierra Club’s goal had been to close a third of the nation’s coal plants by 2020.

If successful, the Sierra Club wants to see 166,000 megawatts of coal-fired power shut down or slated for closure in the U.S. in the next two years. Coal plants are responsible for about 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists have found are causing climate change.

“Dirty, outdated, deadly coal is a thing of the past,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said at an event Wednesday announcing the new goal.

According to Bloomberg, “Coal’s days are numbered. It is an outdated technology. It is holding back our economy and hurting our health.”

The former NYC mayor “donated $50 million to Sierra Club’s anti-coal work in 2011” and is now giving “another $30 million in support for the campaign,” according to the report. He’s not alone.

The Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Grantham Foundation have pledged another $30 million to the effort.