Michael Bloomberg, former New York City Mayor, and his charity (Bloomberg Philanthropies) have just pledged $64 million to combat the use of fossil fuels in the USA.
Bloomberg made a speech on Wednesday (11th October) which provided a small sigh of relief for environmentalists. The USA is currently experiencing a period of great trepidation with regard to the use of harmful fuels, with the current government taking many steps to deconstruct or minimise existing conservation or protection measures that were put in place.
It was announced last week that the Clean Power Plan (introduced during the Obama administration) would be scrapped by current President Donald Trump’s environmental regulator.
Reuters reported that; “These are the groups that are fighting the war on coal and it’s happening all across America and they are winning,” Bloomberg said at an event at the Sierra Club in Washington.
Since 2011 nearly half of the country’s coal-fired power plants, or nearly 260 plants, have been closed.
Beyond Coal wants to push communities to fight coal plants which emit carbon and particulates blamed for lung and heart problems. It aims to increase closures to some two-thirds of the U.S. coal fleet by 2020.
While domestic coal use is under pressure, coal exports have risen this year amid high global demand. The Energy Information Administration, the independent statistics arm of the Department of Energy, said on Wednesday that U.S. coal exports were up 62 percent from January to July, compared to the same period in 2016.
But U.S. coal-fired power plant closures have continued apace since Trump came to office in January. Last week, Luminant, a subsidiary of Vistra Energy Corp, said it would shut its Monticello plant in Texas next year, joining about 10 other plants that have announced their closure since Trump came to office.
Bloomberg has now donated a total of $110 million to Beyond Coal since 2011.