I’m no Bloomberg, but if you want to impact the world – step #1 is that you lead.
Michael Bloomberg announced a $500 million donation in a plan to close all coal fired power plant in the USA, as well to halve the growth of gas. The money would be spent as part of a local lobbying effort, with some of the cash going toward elections of lawmakers that prioritize clean energy.
From the New York Times coverage of the announcement, Carl Pope, an adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, said that going after the top ten states that use gas and coal was quite strategic:
If you move those ten states decisively toward 100 percent renewable electricity, that actually means that every major public utility in the United States would have to go clean.
Pope also said that he expected a “major communication challenge”.
Also noted in the NYTimes coverage was a comment by Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners, “that replacing the country’s remaining coal capacity with wind and solar power could cost as much as $800 billion in hardware and require an additional $150 billion to increase energy storage capacity.”
Concurrently, we were reminded on Twitter that Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency has lost the government grant that enabled it to research and present the many laws regarding clean energy in all fifty of the United States. The group has been around for twenty years and regularly updates their database.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center also generates revenue by selling various reports – 50 States of Solar | 50 States of Grid Modernization | 50 States of Electric Vehicles – and will offer investors super focused consultation support so they can better develop and maximize their financial models.
As well, they are seeking donations via go.ncsu.edu/givencclean.
Went to one of my favorite go-to sites https://t.co/2ANGT9BtUm, and saw this. Hadn't heard their funding was cut. Heading over to https://t.co/tfxNLS7DnN to give a gift to help keep this site going. Thanks @DSIREUSA #solar #energytwitter pic.twitter.com/MQ15ESdDat
— Craig Lawrence (@clawrence) May 31, 2019
Bloomberg has already donated more than $150 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. The Beyond Coal campaign, along with a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, is now shifting itself to be Beyond Carbon.
Expect these political actions to increase as November of 2020 approaches and the United States chooses its next President. We’ve seen Washington Governor and U.S. Presidential Candidate Jay Inslee (D) unveil the details of his “Evergreen Economy Plan” with a potential $9 trillion to be invested in public-private partnerships. As well, we’ve heard Senator and Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren calls for “big and bold investments in American research, American industry, and American workers” to counter climate change and suggest $2 trillion in spending.
And of course, that the Democratic Party would bar a climate change debate speaks to the political complexities even while unions warm up to and the people clearly support clean electricity, as well the Green New Deal in our guts even if we don’t know the details. Bloomberg notes this and is headed for the political jugular of campaign finance in our post Citizens United USA.