Former New York mayor and Democratic presidential race newcomer Michael Bloomberg is proposing some radical laws to combat climate change. If elected, Bloomberg says he’ll close down all coal-fired power plants in the US to reduce carbon emissions. The billionaire says urgent action is needed if the US is to meet carbon reduction targets by 2050. However, he’s facing criticism for ignoring the reality of US energy needs.
Jim Justice, the Republican governor of West Virginia, says Bloomberg’s plan is “pandering to the uninformed.” Justice says that everyone wants an all-encompassing energy strategy, but “today in America we can’t do without coal, and we certainly can’t do without natural gas.”
West Virginia is one of the states that would be most severely affected by Bloomberg’s proposal. As a major coal producer, and around 2% of the state’s workforce is directly involved in the coal industry. Almost all West Virginia’s electricity is currently generated by coal-fired power plants.
Bloomberg is following a strategy tried by Hillary Clinton in 2016, when she boasted that she would put a lot of coal companies out of business. Justice warned that it didn’t work then and won’t work now.
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