New York City billionaires are battling over coal. And Kentucky is caught in the middle – by James BRuggers (Louisville Courier-Journal – October 13, 2017)

The two New York City billionaires are battling it out over coal. And coal-dependant Kentucky and Indiana are in the crosshairs. The moves come as Kentucky, once the third-ranked coal-producing state, has fallen to fifth behind Wyoming, West Virginia, Illinois and Pennsylvania, according to the latest numbers from the government. Indiana ranks 7th.

After President Donald Trump’s top environmental official came to Kentucky to announce that he intended to ditch the nation’s first crackdown on climate pollution from coal-fired power plants, former New York City Mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg responded by sending tens of millions of dollars to environmental groups to fight against coal.

Bloomberg Philanthropies said Bloomberg has spent $100 million since 2011 on the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. It announced it would double down on that effort with another $64 million to the Sierra Club and other organizations fighting against coal and for a cleaner environment.

“The Trump administration has yet to realize that the war on coal was never led by Washington, and Washington cannot end it,” said Bloomberg, in a written statement.

“It was started and continues to be led by communities in both red and blue states who are tired of having their air and water poisoned when there are cleaner and cheaper alternatives available, cities and states that are determined to clean their air and reduce their costs, and businesses seeking to lower their energy bills while also doing their part for the climate.”

Counter to mainstream science, Trump has called climate change a hoax. Former President Obama had argued that “climate change is not a problem for another generation, not anymore.”

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