Michael Bloomberg released a statement Tuesday saying he would not be throwing his hat into the 2020 candidacy ring, but he is launching a new environmental campaign — Beyond Carbon, which he hopes will result in the shuttering of all coal-fired plants over the next 11 years and the eventual eradication of fossil fuels as an energy source.
From his statement, published at Bloomberg:
I’ve come to realize that I’m less interested in talking than doing. And I have concluded that, for now, the best way for me to help our country is by rolling up my sleeves and continuing to get work done.
Here’s one way I’ll do that. In 2011, following the failure of cap and trade legislation in Congress, I teamed up with the Sierra Club on a campaign called Beyond Coal. By organizing and mobilizing communities affected by the harmful pollution of coal-fired power plants, we have helped close more than half the nation’s plants — 285 out of 530 — and replaced them with cleaner and cheaper energy. That was the single biggest reason the U.S. has been able to reduce its carbon footprint by 11 percent — and cut deaths from coal power plants from 13,000 to 3,000.
Now, I will take the next big steps. First, I will expand my support for the Beyond Coal campaign so that we can retire every single coal-fired power plant over the next 11 years. That’s not a pipe dream. We can do it. And second, I will launch a new, even more ambitious phase of the campaign — Beyond Carbon: a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy.
At the heart of Beyond Carbon is the conviction that, as the science has made clear, every year matters. The idea of a Green New Deal — first suggested by the columnist Tom Friedman more than a decade ago — stands no chance of passage in the Senate over the next two years. But Mother Nature does not wait on our political calendar, and neither can we.
Bloomberg reiterated his commitment to supporting like-minded Democrat candidates in the upcoming election. Had he run, it would’ve been in opposition to Trump.
When former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz floated running for President as a centrist independent, Bloomberg not to subtly suggested any independent would Ross Perot the election. From MSNBC:
Bloomberg had previously said little in public about a potential run, though he had made clear that, if he did run, it would be as a Democrat. After Howard Schultz, the billionaire former chief of Starbucks, announced that he was considering a bid for president as a centrist independent, Bloomberg wrote in a statement that an independent run would likely “split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President.”
Some speculated that Bloomberg’s entrance into the race might have served as a moderating influence in a primary that has seen a host of candidates vying to appeal to the party’s increasingly left-leaning base.
But his moderate views would also be a liability. Bloomberg has faced scrutiny from progressives over his ties to the financial services industry, his sprawling wealth and his past statements on issues including policing tactics and the Me Too movement, among other areas.
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