Bloomberg Misses Completely On Natural Gas While “Shooting For the Moon” With Beyond Carbon Campaign

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced that he is “shooting for the moon” and spending $500 million “to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States and halt the growth of natural gas,” through a Beyond Carbon campaign led by the Sierra Club. But the proposal is out-of-touch with reality and ignores the ever-more-important role natural gas is playing to lower U.S. power generation carbon emissions.

The announcement is a major step away from Bloomberg’s previous position on the role that natural gas can play in decreasing emissions. During his time as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg passed legislation requiring that city buildings phase out the use of heavy heating oils in favor of cleaner alternatives, such as natural gas. The results were quick and dramatic. Just one year after the change, New York City saw greenhouse gas emissions decline by 20 percent. At the time, Bloomberg praised the change:

“Natural gas is a low-cost, low-emissions fuel that makes good economic and environmental sense. This study confirms its importance to New York City’s reliable, clean energy future and demonstrates that with responsible, well-regulated development, we can make the investments that both improve our air quality and save lives.”

Despite this and his home state’s ever-increasing natural gas consumption, Bloomberg is now committing to “stop the construction of new gas plants,” continuing the “Keep It In the Ground” trend of celebrating the emissions reductions of natural gas, while demonizing it for being a fossil fuel.

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