Mayor Bloomberg Slams Coal Industry at Energy Innovation Summit, Calls for Cleaner Alternatives

by , 02/28/13

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made some bold statements against the coal industry during this week’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy Energy Innovation Summit, according to a report from The Hill. Bloomberg, a promoter of natural gas and its lower carbon emissions, called coal “a dead man walking” and stressed the need for cleaner alternatives. He also made a point that coal-related environmental problems exacerbate extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy.

“Even though the coal industry doesn’t totally know it yet or is ready to admit it, its day is done. … Here in the U.S., I’m happy to say, the king is dead. Coal is a dead man walking,” said Bloomberg during the summit held in Washington, D.C. Citing the coal industry’s decline as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s closing of several coal power plants last fall due to environmental pollution and public health issues, Bloomberg believes the country still has a long way to go before we reach our desired sustainable future.

In 2011, through his nonprofit, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Mayor committed $50 million over the course of four years in collaboration with the Sierra Club to effectively retire one third of the nation’s aging coal fleet by 2020 and replace it with clean energy. The funds will be used to ensure that current environmental laws are enforced and assist local communities in their efforts to oppose power plants and encourage the use of alternative power sources.

Coal is the leading supplier of electricity in the U.S. and accounts for 37.4 of the nation’s electricity mix — a 12.5 percent drop from last year. Natural gas, sourced through the process of hydrofracking, still faces a very controversial debate among environmental groups who worry about water contamination, but has spiked to 30 percent of the nation’s power.

Via The Hill