On a day when he was removing himself from contention for the White House in 2020, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg took a moment to once again call the sweeping Green New Deal proposal unrealistic.
“The idea of a Green New Deal … stands no chance of passage in the Senate over the next two years. But Mother Nature does not wait on our political calendar, and neither can we,” the billionaire media mogul wrote in an op-ed in Bloomberg News, as he detailed his decision not to launch a presidential campaign.
Bloomberg, a vocal advocate for efforts to combat climate change, spotlighted his “support for the Beyond Coal campaign, so that we can retire every single coal-fired power plant over the next 11 years. That’s not a pipe dream. We can do it.”
And he insisted that “I will launch a new, even more ambitious phase of the campaign — Beyond Carbon: a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean-energy economy.”
While Bloomberg – a Republican turned independent turned moderate Democrat – has voiced concerns over the Green New Deal, it’s a top wish list item for members of the Democratic Party’s progressive base. And many of the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination contenders have expressed their strong support for the measure.
The wide-ranging proposal aims to transform the country’s economy to fight climate change -- while enacting a host of new health care and welfare programs. It was introduced in Congress last month by freshman progressive rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
Democrats' support for the Green New Deal guidelines has riled Republicans, who contend that the plan would bankrupt the country.
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel labeled the plan “a massive taxpayer boondoggle and a socialist dream come true.”
Bloomberg questioned the Green New Deal during a late January stop in New Hampshire – the state that holds the first presidential primary – as he was still giving thought to a White House bid.
Speaking with reporters following a tour of a manufacturing plant in Nashua, Bloomberg said that “you have to have realistic things; we are not overnight going to change everything we do. … People aren’t going to overnight give up their jobs if those jobs happen not to be on the side of the Green New Deal.”
Bloomberg, who has contributed millions to the battle against climate change, called for “doing things intelligently.”