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Bloomberg Beyond Coal Donation: New York City Mayor Commits $50 Million Toward Sierra Club's Beyond Coal

Michael Bloomberg

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/21/11 02:34 PM ET Updated: 09/20/11 06:12 AM ET

As the leader of one of the world's largest cities, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has cultivated visions for how to improve quality of life in urban areas.

On Thursday, Bloomberg dipped into his own deep pockets to give a financial boost toward a green cause, on a national platform.

The Washington Post reports that Bloomberg Philanthropies is donating $50 million to the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. The paper notes that the funding will be spread out over several years, and was marked as a "game-changer" by Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. Bloomberg agreed.

“If we are going to get serious about reducing our carbon footprint in the United States, we have to get serious about coal," said the mayor via a Sierra Club press release. Ending coal power production is the right thing to do, because while it may seem to be an inexpensive energy source the impact on our environment and the impact on public health is significant."

Grist adds that the money will ramp up several facets of the Sierra Club's outreach, including a larger staff and base of campaigning states. Beyond Coal has been instrumental in halting more than 150 proposed power plants, and will now have unforeseen financial backing to continue its efforts.

Beginning July 12th, the Sierra Club took over all of the ad space inside a Washington, D.C. station, relaying their message that air pollution from coal-fired power plants poses health risks, and in March, the American Lung Association estimated that particle pollution from power plants kills approximately 13,000 people a year.

While the Bloomberg announcement is drawing waves of humanitarian support, The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire captured the reaction from the other side. A National Mining Association Spokeswoman questioned the efforts against the coal industry, advocating for cleaner technologies that still utilize a cost-effective resource like coal.

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