Mike Bloomberg on Energy & Oil
Mayor of New York City (Independent)
But we also do a lot of work trying to encourage people to behave responsibly. If you want to do something for the climate, turn off your air conditioning when you leave in the morning, if there's nobody home. You will save a lot of energy and greenhouse gases.
Paint your roof white. We had this program in NYC. Al Gore and I got up on these flat roof buildings, painting. And people laughed at us, but the white paint reflects off the sun, reduces the need for energy to cool your house. And if you fly over NYC now, almost every single building has been painted white, because, for two cans of paint, you save 25% on your electric bill.
BLOOMBERG: Well, you're not going to go to war with them. You have to negotiate with them--and we've seen how well that works with tariffs that are hurting us. What you have to do is convince the Chinese that it is in their interest, as well. Their people are going to die just as our people are going to die. And we'll work together. In all fairness, the China has slowed down. It's India that is an even bigger problem. But it is an enormous problem. Nobody's doing anything about it. We could right here in America make a big difference. We're closing the coal-fired power plants. If we could enforce some of the rules on fracking so that they don't release methane into the air and into the water, you'll make a big difference.
Sen. Amy KLOBUCHAR: I have made it very clear that we have to review all of the permits that are out there right now for natural gas and then make decisions on each one of them and then not grant new ones until we make sure that it's safe. But it is a transitional fuel.
BLOOMBERG: If we could enforce some of the rules on fracking so that they don't release methane into the air and into the water, you'll make a big difference. But we're not going to get rid of fracking for a while. And, incidentally, not just natural gas. You frack oil, as well. It is a technique, and when it's done poorly, like they're doing in too many places where the methane gets out into the air, it is very damaging. But it's a transition fuel, I think the senator said it right. We want to go to all renewables. But that's still many years from now.
BLOOMBERG: The solar array that the vice president is talking about is being closed because it's not economic. You can put solar panels into technology even more modern than that.
Mike will accelerate the use of clean energy to replace power from fossil fuels. He will set limits on air and water pollution from power plants. He will invest in communities that have suffered most from coal pollution or have been left behind in the transition to clean energy. He will expand incentives to make clean energy affordable for all families. And he will quadruple the federal R&D investment in clean energy and end subsidies for fossil fuels.
Mike will create a national program to invest in upgrading homes and buildings to save energy and reduce pollution.
Mike will create a national program to invest in upgrading homes and buildings to save energy and reduce pollution. Mike will set a 100% pollution-free goal for new homes and buildings by 2025. He will shift equipment and appliances from fossil fuels to clean energy to increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution. And he will make clean buildings affordable for everyone and make sure building investments create good jobs.
For instance, Bloomberg has contributed $218 million for clean-energy efforts that, among other results, have led to the closure of 282 coal-fired power plants. But he does not oppose, at least in the short term, other fossil fuel use--and that's not good enough for climate change activists
BLOOMBERG: If the government is not going to do it, we all have a responsibility. I'm able to do it. So, yes, I'm going to send them a check for the monies that America had promised to the organization as though they got it from federal government.
Q: $4.5 million dollars this year. Will you do the same next year?
BLOOMBERG: Hopefully, by then, President Trump will have changed his view.
Q: President Trump has been a huge critic of this Paris climate change accord.
BLOOMBERG: Yes, but he should change his mind and say, "look, there really is a problem here, America is part of the problem, America is a big part of the solution," and we should go in and help the world stop a potential disaster.
BLOOMBERG: Look, it's dangerous to keep doing what we're doing. If everybody would do the right thing, yes, it would be better. But if some people or some countries do the right thing, we all benefit from that.
Q: But the criticism is that industrialized nations aren't living up to those pledges.
BLOOMBERG: I can't speak for other nations. All I know is that America, I believe, will meet its commitment by 2025 to reduce greenhouse gasses by an agreed amount. And if we do it, hopefully, other countries will do it as well.
Q: Do you feel like you're filling a leadership gap?
BLOOMBERG: This is what the American public say they want to do. You have got companies and states and individuals all agreeing to step in, report to the United Nations what our progress is, fulfill our commitment to fund part of it.
However, between now and the Copenhagen Conference next year, we must establish, I think, the preconditions for such progress. Both developed and developing nations must recognize the need to alter their policies and make serious commitments to change. And I believe that our experience in New York City, and the experience of many of the world’s other great cities, too, can help guide that process.
The first precondition for making the Copenhagen negotiations a success, I believe, is that the US, which leads the world in greenhouse gas production, must finally set real and binding carbon reduction targets. And I believe the American people are prepared to accept our responsibility to lead by example.
It’s why, even though our national government has yet to approve the Kyoto Protocol, more than 700 cities in the US, representing more than 80 million Americans, have pledged to meet its goals. And it’s why, later this year, NYC will convene a 2-day conference of representatives from more than 20 major world cities. It will feature experts in such fields as transportation, city planning, public health; and it will address the challenges that the world’s cities share in reducing urban air pollution and curbing climate change.
On climate change, the duck-and-cover usually involves pointing the finger at others. It’s China-this & India-that. But wait a second. This is the United States of America. When there’s a major challenge, we don’t wait for others to act. We lead. And we lead by example. That’s what all of us here are doing.
When we developed our long-term sustainability plan in NYC, which we call PlaNYC, we made no apologies for stealing the very best ideas--and we came up with some of our own, including converting our 13,000 taxis to hybrids or high-efficiency vehicles. This will not only help clean our air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will save each driver about $4,500 a year in gas costs
Cap-and-trade is an easier political sell because the costs are hidden--but they’re still there. There are also logistical issues: The market for trading carbon credits will be much more difficult to police than the market for the sulfur dioxide credits that greatly reduced acid rain.
A direct charge would eliminate the uncertainty that companies would face in a cap-and-trade system. It would be easier to implement and enforce, it would prevent special interests from opening up loopholes, & it would create an opportunity to cut taxes.
In New York, we’ve laid out our own detailed plans for reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2030, investing in more clean energy sources and creating a truly sustainable 21st century city. And we’re going to hold ourselves accountable for meeting interim goals.
Anybody can set goals for 2050 or 2070--but we’ll never reach them unless we start taking real action now. That’s what California and New York are doing, along with many other cities and states. But the federal legislators, as usual, are way behind the curve--laughably setting goals for some far off time when they’ll all be dead and can’t be held accountable!
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