West Virginia governor fires back against Bloomberg's $500M pledge to kill coal

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- West Virginia Governor Justice issued a statement Sunday criticizing former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pledge to close the nation's remaining coal plants.

Photo: MGN Online

Bloomberg announced last week his plan to invest $500 million to close the country's remaining coal-fired power plants by 2030.

He told MIT's class of 2019, "climate change is now first and foremost a political problem, not a scientific quandary or even a technological puzzle," according to CBS News.

West Virginia's Republican governor fired back against Bloomberg's pledge - a campaign in partnership with the Sierra Club. It also would halt construction of natural gas power plants.

The governor announced a press conference set for Monday afternoon with West Virginia energy leaders in Charleston.

Justice issued the following statement:

“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Beyond Carbon initiative is short-sighted, nonsensical and, if successful, will have a calamitous impact on West Virginia and American workers.

"The U.S. continues to make dramatic reductions in carbon output and the vast majority of the greenhouse gas generation is coming from abroad, chiefly in the Pacific Rim countries. For crying out loud, if Bloomberg wants to make a positive impact, he should focus his efforts in Asia and get those countries to bring their carbon output in line with America’s.

"West Virginia is an 'all-in' energy state. We mine coal, produce natural gas and we have a growing renewable portfolio. These industries provide life-sustaining jobs and have made our economy one of the fastest growing in the country.

"Michael Bloomberg and the radical Sierra Club organization have declared war on the American worker. If this campaign is successful, massive numbers of West Virginians will lose their livelihoods and the U.S. economy will suffer greatly. And all of this for extremely minor global reductions of emissions.

"I stand with our State's hundred of thousands energy, oil/gas, coal, pipeline, and utility workers and their families and challenge anyone anywhere who threatens to remove their livelihoods."