Mike Bloomberg: Now on the Debate Stage, But Where Does He Stand?

Mike Bloomberg’s Presidential campaign is blasting the airwaves so much that he is now a factor in the Presidential race, but how green is he?  He has a very strong record of environmental accomplishments as Mayor of New York and since he left office, and he has detailed proposals on climate change, but fewer plans for what to do about other environmental problems like clean water and toxic waste, endangered species and other natural resource issues. 

Why This Matters:  Bloomberg has the means to develop detailed policy plans on the full range of conservation and environmental issues and the ads to go with them, but the “green” plans on his web site are not as broad as the other candidates’ — at least not yet.  So far, his web site only covers climate change and clean energy, with a short discussion of clean air and clean water in his infrastructure plan.  His track record as mayor of New York City is also helpful in understanding where he stands on issues like parks and environmental justice — and it is well in the mainstream of the Democratic Party.  His first appearance in a Democratic debate is unfortunately unlikely to provide voters a greater understanding of his positions on some of the other environmental issues that can provide a great contrast to President Trump’s abysmal record.  It might be good to start by asking him where he stands on the Green New Deal and by when he would seek to achieve carbon neutrality.  We want and need to know more.

His Climate Policy Plan

Bloomberg’s climate change credentials are top-notch and well known to many Americans. Many do not know of his extensive funding for ocean conservation campaigns. Most notably, he has funded the highly successful Sierra Club campaign to close dirty coal power plants across the country, and he has led the charge of mayors and governors who are keeping up with commitments to achieve the Paris Agreement targets and keep the U.S. “in” the UN climate change conversation, even as the federal government under President Trump backs away.  Bloomberg made a point of going to the latest UN Climate Change meeting in Madrid — the only candidate to go — to show his commitment to climate change.

The main “planks” of Bloomberg’s climate plan are to:

  • Restore America’s leadership in fighting the global climate crisis
  • Propel the United States toward a 100% clean energy future
  • Make environmental justice a national priority
  • Ensure 100% of new vehicles are pollution-free by 2035
  • Green our buildings to  save Americans money on their heating and energy bills
  • Invest in projects to reduce and protect against climate impacts, including wildfires

His plan on climate resilience has a couple of interesting new ideas too:

  • Protect critical infrastructure and create an Infrastructure Resilience Finance Corporation
  • Launch a national initiative to use climate data to improve resilience efforts

To Go Deeper: We recommend The Daily podcast from yesterday (though we suspect many of you already listened to it) on “the hidden infrastructure of influence and persuasion behind his campaign.”  It is worth your time.

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