WASHINGTON, July 21 New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg joined with the Sierra Club on Thursday in a $50
million, four-year plan to campaign for replacing one-third of
aging U.S. coal-fired power plants with clean energy.
"If we are going to get serious about reducing our carbon
footprint in the United States, we have to get serious about
coal," Bloomberg, founder of the news service that bears his
name, said in a statement.
"Coal is a self-inflicted public health risk, polluting the
air we breathe, adding mercury to our water, and the leading
cause of climate disruption," he said. The partnership with
Sierra Club was announced outside a coal-fired power plant in
The $50 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies will
pay for a significant part of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal
Campaign, which is budgeted at $150 million for four years.
The campaign, begun in 2002, has stopped more than 150 new
coal-fired plants from being built, the Sierra Club said.
The Bloomberg grant will help with the environmental
group's goals of cutting 30 percent of U.S. coal production by
2020, reducing mercury pollution by 90 percent by 2020 and
replacing a majority of coal with clean energy, the Sierra Club
Coal is the leading U.S. producer of climate-warming
greenhouse gas emissions, and emits nearly half of all U.S.
mercury pollution, which can cause developmental problems in
infants and children and contribute to asthma attacks.
(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)