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Opinion Columns

Opinion: Bloomberg is America’s best hope on climate change

A few years ago, or at least a few decades ago, windy days on the western side of Colorado’s urban corridor were a sure sign that snow was dumping in the mountains and the skiing was getting better by the day.

Today they can feel more like a precursor to the anxiety that we are bound to feel by June, May, even April. 

As the green of spring arrives earlier and ends sooner, as grasses dry up and temperatures start to rise, it can feel like only a matter of time before the hills to our west are engulfed in flames and we see a repeat of Australia, of L.A., of Colorado Springs in our own backyards.

Ray Rivera

Climate change is real and it is here. On that, nearly all of us can all agree. In fact, it seems like some of the few people who don’t are the same people who have the power to do something about it: President Trump and his science-denying friends in Washington.

We know we need a change. Mike Bloomberg is the person who can deliver on that change and bring sanity and action back to the White House.

At a time when the devastating impacts of climate change are encroaching from every direction, Trump and his cronies are rolling back emissions standards, undermining science-based regulations and preventing policy experts within the federal government from doing their jobs to uphold environmental standards that had already been settled on as practical and reasonable.

While we watch wildfires destroy Australia on the other side of the planet, Trump is dismantling the Bureau of Land Management, ridding the department of scientific oversight and increasing the likelihood of oil and gas drilling in Colorado and across the West. 

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

BLM employees are being scattered across western states while a skeleton crew sets up a so-called headquarters 1,900 miles away from the White House in Grand Junction.

The clear intention of such a dramatic change is to lessen their influence on policymakers in D.C. and increase their exposure to the special interests such as oil and gas extractors that operate in the remote regions where they are sent to work.

But Donald Trump’s actions threaten more than just our public lands and the role of science in the federal government. They threaten our health, our environment, our infrastructure and our economy.

The contrast between Trump and Mike Bloomberg could not be clearer. As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Bloomberg helped drive progress addressing climate change across the planet.

He believes in science-based strategies and he is committed to strengthening America’s resilience in the face of devastating climate impacts like wildfires that communities across the nation and in Colorado have already begun to experience. 

As president, he will reverse the damage inflicted by the Trump administration and their rollbacks of environmental regulation.

He will once again protect our national parks and our natural resources, ending all new fossil fuel leases on federal land, banning offshore drilling and expediting the development of clean energy.

Bloomberg will push for all new buildings across the country to be zero-carbon and hyper-efficient by 2025 through new model building codes and appliance standards. He will create new rebates, financing and other incentives to ensure the transition to cleaner buildings is affordable and reduces energy costs for all.

By 2030, he will have slashed greenhouse gas emissions in half and put the country on a path to 100% clean energy before 2050 by replacing our country’s reliance on coal and gas with renewables. He’ll also ensure that this energy transition and other efforts to reduce emissions create good jobs and that workers in the old-energy economy are protected.

To back up his plans, Bloomberg has a decades-long track record as a leader on environmental protection. He is the only candidate who has measurably reduced carbon emissions, cutting them by 14% during his time as mayor in New York City, all while creating jobs and growing the economy.

He has taken on the coal lobby, leading an effort with the Sierra Club to close more than 50% of the nation’s coal-fired power plants. And Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $70 million over three years to help 24 cities in the U.S. significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2025.

In Colorado, we know that when it comes to climate change, we have no time to waste. We need a leader who believes that we can do something and is ready to start the battle on day one. That leader is Mike Bloomberg.

Ray Rivera served at the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Obama and as the Director of External and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of the Interior under Secretary Ken Salazar. He is a senior adviser for Mike Bloomberg 2020.


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