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May 28, 2020
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How Bloomberg would tackle climate change

Bloomberg would factor in climate risks and community impacts in all environmental reviews and in the Office of Management and Budget’s annual budget process. It would also stop federal agencies from defending the Trump administration’s rollbacks of emission regulations in court while a Bloomberg administration develops stronger limits on pollutants. The administration would also beef up enforcement staff at the Environmental Protection Agency.

What are the weaknesses in the proposal?

It includes no estimates of what the proposals would cost, or details on how a Bloomberg administration would pay for it. It would also face certain legal challenges from the oil and gas industry that would argue a wholesale shutdown of down coal- and natural-gas fired plants within a decade or two would decimate the economy and its large workforce. That plan also overlooks emissions from cars and trucks, a huge source of carbon dioxide.

How much would it cost?

The only figure in the plan is the $25 billion dedicated to R&D — which would be a tiny fraction of what the plan’s total cost.

How would he pay for it?

A Bloomberg administration would halt all subsidies for fossil fuel development, which it says cost “billions of dollars.” No other funding source is mentioned.

What have other Democrats proposed?

Other Democratic candidates have focused on stopping oil and gas drilling on public land, and in the case of Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, banning hydraulic fracturing. Bloomberg’s plan focuses on the demand side of the equation, aiming to end utilities’ use of fossil fuels.

Who would it help?

The plan would benefit solar and wind power companies with tax credits, quicker permitting and promises to improve transmission lines. It would also help companies working on next-generation battery and hydrogen technology. The plan also would aid communities suffering from pollution and low-income areas that are at risk from a changing climate.

Who opposes it?

Fossil fuel companies and many electric utilities, as well as Republicans who and centrist Democrats who supported jobs in the oil, gas and coal sectors.

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