It took just one day after President Donald Trump’s administration announced it was rolling back the Obama-era, court-challenged Clean Power Plan for clean energy zealot and billionaire Michael Bloomberg to donate millions of dollars to try to fight the end of the war on coal.
The Sierra Club distributed a press release on Wednesday announcing it had received the $64 million donation to support its Beyond Coal campaign and other organizations with the same ideology that would like to put all coal operations out of business and the American workers who depend on them out of work. The press release stated:
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 press release said the new funding will be used to “maintain progress” despite the fate of the Clean Power Plan.
“The Trump administration has yet to realize that the war on coal was never led by Washington—and Washington cannot end it,” Bloomberg said in the press release. “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,” Bloomberg said.
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, boasted that his organization and other activists are responsible for the closure of scores of “dirty power plants.”
“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,” Brune said. “All of this and we’re just getting started. Our movement is growing and our momentum is unstoppable. Our clean energy future is now.”
President Trump signed an executive order in March ordering a review of the Clean Power Plan as well as other environmental regulations. Instead of Obama’s stifling energy regulations, the Trump administration will promote policies that favor American “energy dominance.”
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who was one of the first Attorneys General to sue the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, is now undertaking the repeal of the Obama-era clean energy power grab.