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Bloomberg Donates $50 Million To Fight Dirty Coal

Bloomberg Donates $50 Million To Fight Dirty Coal

 

Michael Bloomberg, the environmentally-friendly leader of one of the United States’ largest cities, announced today that he will donate $50 million to the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign.

As Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg has had a hand in many significant improvements to environmental and energy policies that create a cleaner world for millions of Americans. With this latest philanthropic effort, he will take that commitment even further, allowing the already successful campaign to double its staff to 200, and expand the anti-coal initiative from 15 to 46 states.

“If we are going to get serious about reducing our carbon footprint in the United States, we have to get serious about coal. Ending coal power production is the right thing to do, because while it may seem to be an inexpensive energy source the impact on our environment and the impact on public health is significant,” Bloomberg said in a statement Thursday. “Coal is a self-inflicted public health risk, polluting the air we breathe, adding mercury to our water, and the leading cause of climate disruption.”

Although it has been the main source of power in the United States for hundreds of years, coal is a finite resource, and many have begun to wonder about how our society will operate when it finally runs out.

Unfortunately, Big Coal is firmly entrenched in the pockets of the majority of America’s politicians, making it nearly impossible to divert any government funding away from the dying coal industry and into the rapidly expanding world of renewable energy.

Despite this resistance, the financial boost provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide a much-needed shot in the arm for the Beyond Coal campaign, increasing its budget by over  one-third, and bringing its goal of cutting U.S. coal production by 30 percent by 2020 into realistic focus.

While catalyzing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is important, equally significant is the effect that Bloomberg’s donation will have on the health of millions of Americans.

“In the U.S. coal is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and coal’s pollution contributes to four out of the five leading causes of mortality — heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory illness,” states Bloomberg on his blog. “Coal emits almost half of all U.S. mercury pollution, which causes developmental problems in babies and young children, as well as being a major contributor to asthma attacks. Coal pollution causes $100 billion in health costs annually.”

“This partnership will help the Sierra Club to work with communities nationwide as they tell one coal plant after another that inflicting asthma and other diseases on their children is unacceptable and that they will not accept coal pollution in their neighborhoods,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, in a statement.

Banners hung by the Sierra Club in Washington DC metro station (click to zoom):

Related Reading:

Coal Mine At World Heritage Site Approved

New Coal Plants Fail To Provide Promised Jobs

Coal Industry Creates Third-World Conditions In The U.S. Today

Image Credits: Flickr – david berkowitzEli Beck | Sierra Club

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27 comments

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6:31AM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

Bravo!

10:24AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

RICH THOUGHT, NOW BACK IT UP.

12:59AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Another excellent article Beth Buczynski!!! It is great to see such a progressive thinker like mayor Bloomberg contributing to such a worthy cause. "We have to start somewhere. We have to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?"

We are slowly chipping away at one of the largest threats to our health, the coal industry. Until we finally ween ourselves from their succulent teet, we will never be free.

11:59PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Very empressive:)

7:16PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

TKS A LOT MR.BLOOMBERG , you just have been showing us who you are .... I can't see you like a regular mayor , simply , you're "above/beyond" that .... Tks for sending this amazing enviroment news ....

3:28PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Thank you Michael Bloomberg!

3:10PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Fifty million dollars would have gone a long way in developing a truly clean coal process.

Giving that money to a politically motivated group like the Sierra Club is a waste, but it will buy some votes.

1:49PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

This is such encouraging, positive, productive news. Thank you.

1:15PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

nice deed. important. but i would have devided 25 to this and the rest to the poor.

11:06AM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

While I want to applaud him, I would like to know what is behind all that? Is there an agenda?

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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