A day after the Trump administration formally announced its plans to rescind the Clean Power Plan, Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a $64 million commitment to the Sierra Club and other organizations working to advance clean energy initiatives in the United States.
The funds will support the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, which has almost achieved its initial goal of retiring 50 percent of the nation's coal-fired power plants by 2017 and will now work to reach 60 percent by the end of 2020. The funding also will be used to sustain progress in the face of proposed federal rollbacks of public health and environmental regulations, including the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which would have set carbon pollution standards for all power plants. To that end, the Sierra Club and other groups, including Advanced Energy Economy, Earthjustice, the Energy Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, will engage directly with private-sector leaders, mayors, governors, legislators, utility commissioners, and local officials to secure the development, implementation, and strengthening of clean-energy policies with broad bipartisan support.
Since 2011, when Bloomberg Philanthropies first partnered with the Beyond Coal campaign, nearly 50 percent of the country's coal-fired power plants have announced their retirement, while deaths related to coal pollution have fallen by 42 percent.
"The Trump administration has yet to realize that the war on coal was never led by Washington — and Washington cannot end it," said Bloomberg. "It was started and continues to be led by communities in both red and blue states who are tired of having their air and water poisoned when there are cleaner and cheaper alternatives available, cities and states that are determined to clean their air and reduce their costs, and businesses seeking to lower their energy bills while also doing their part for the climate."