Nov 12, 2019

Climate change activists aren't loving Mike Bloomberg's 2020 flirtations

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Lots of environmentalists like Mike Bloomberg, but there's not likely to be a groundswell of activist support for his potential White House run.

Why it matters: Climate change has long been a major priority for Bloomberg, who for years has poured resources into speeding the closure of coal-fired power plants.

  • This year brought the launch of the $500 million "Beyond Carbon" campaign, which expands on that anti-coal work by calling, among other things, for blocking construction of new natural gas plants.

Where it stands: Environmentalists applaud his climate work, but stories yesterday in the Washington Post and the Washington Examiner quote activists who aren't thrilled by his maybe-campaign.

My own conversations with activists in recent days are consistent with those pieces. There are a few reasons for the missing embrace...

  • Bloomberg, as the stories note, earlier this year knocked the Green New Deal as unrealistic.
  • A billionaire parachuting into the race? That's out of step with the zeitgeist on the left, where Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are putting a major focus on inequality.

But, but, but: If Bloomberg runs and somehow becomes the nominee, major environmental groups would certainly pour all kinds of resources into electing him over President Trump.

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