Mayor Bloomberg Joins Obama's War on Fossil Fuels by Donating $50 Million to Fund the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign
Bloomberg's Support Boosts Prospects Toward Ending Coal-Fired Electricity Generation, Bringing Higher Energy Prices to a Sagging Economy, says National Center
Washington, D.C. - Responding to yesterday's announcement regarding New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's commitment to donate $50 million from his charitable foundation to the Sierra Club, today policy experts from the National Center for Public Policy Research warn these funds will greatly increase the prospects of ending coal as an energy source, bringing higher energy prices to an already sluggish economy.
"By funding the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, Mayor Bloomberg is fueling President Obama's war on fossil fuels which will have a devastating impact of our economy, especially to states that derive most of their energy from coal. Bloomberg's donation will greatly enhance the Sierra Club's propaganda campaign that misleads and frightens the public about coal," said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project.
The Sierra Club is currently running a print advertising campaign in Washington D.C's Metro commuter rail system that graphically portrays children as victims of air emissions from coal-fired power plants. The Beyond Coal campaign aims to reduce coal-fired electricity generation by 30 percent by 2020.
"With Bloomberg's cash infusion the Sierra Club can expand their campaign nationwide and bring political pressure on utilities and target elected officials who are trying to reign in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) attack on the coal industry. I'm concerned that elected officials and CEOs will buckle under the media pressure and sheepishly run away from coal use."
"The timing of the donation is not a coincidence. This weekend the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on an Appropriations bill that cuts EPA's budget and prevents the agency from pursuing its most harmful regulations against the coal industry. I'd bet that Bloomberg's funded ads appear in the Congressional districts of the Representatives that are leading the effort to stop the EPA's anti-coal agenda," added Tom Borelli.
"Billionaire Bloomberg is a classic limousine progressive who can afford electricity at any price. Unfortunately, hardworking Americans and especially those on fixed incomes can't - rising utility bills have a big impact on their budget by draining their disposable income," said Deneen Borelli of Project 21.
Utilities such as American Electric Power, Duke Energy and Southern Company recently announced they are closing coal-fired power plants because of new EPA regulations.
"Obama's war on coal is already having an impact on utilities. Since coal provides about 45 percent of our nation's electricity, the campaign to end its use is going to be especially harmful to states such as Indiana that derives more than 90 percent of its electricity from coal. In addition to the expected layoffs announced from the closing of the power plants, the cost of meeting new EPA requirements for the remaining coal power plants will be passed on to consumers. Bloomberg's support of the Sierra Club is only going to accelerate the political pressure to end the use of coal," added Deneen Borelli.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters. Its 2010 revenue was over $12 million. It receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions are welcome and appreciated.