Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City and the 10th richest person in the U.S. with a personal fortune of around $18 billion, recently donated $50 million to the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal
" campaign, allowing it to be rolled out from its current run of 15 states of a total of 45. Bloomberg announced the donation in the middle of an oppressive heat wave on a boat in the Potomac river near Virginia's 60-year-old coal burning Alexandria power plant.
"If we are going to get serious about reducing our carbon footprint in the United States, we have to get serious about coal, " Bloomberg said. "Ending coal power production is the right thing to do, because while it may seem to be an inexpensive energy source the impact on our environment and the impact on public health is significant. Coal is a self-inflicted public health risk, polluting the air we breathe, adding mercury to the water we drink and the leading cause of climate disruption. ”
The Sierra Club wants to put the money to use shutting down one-third of the coal plants in operation in America. Their campaign has been remarkably successful at stopping the development of new coal plants, counting 153 derailed plants so far. Bruce Nilles, the Washington, DC lawyer heading up "Beyond Coal" says that they are now shifting focus to existing coal plants with the ultimate goal of putting Big Coal completely out of business.
Kudos to Mr. Bloomberg for making such a huge contribution to the fight. Coal is the enemy of mankind and deserves the quickest death we can muster. $50 million should buy a lot of mustering.