**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
November 6, 2015
Stu Loeser | email@example.com | (212) 858-9400
INDEPENDENCE USA PAC DEFENDS CLEAN POWER PLAN WITH ADS AIMED AT STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL
Independence USA Will Focus on AGs in Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin Joining Lawsuit Against EPA's Signature Climate Change Rules
New York, NY, November 6, 2015 — Building on Michael R. Bloomberg's longstanding commitment to environmental and health issues, and his work with local leaders in the US and around the world on climate change, Independence USA will air ads in Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which places the nation's first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. The ads will focus on Attorneys General Pam Bondi of Florida, Bill Schuette of Michigan, Chris Koster of Missouri, and Brad Schimel of Wisconsin, who have joined a federal lawsuit initiated by the State of West Virginia to block the Clean Power Plan. Independence USA PAC was created and is funded by Michael R. Bloomberg.
The ads released today, totaling an 8 figure buy across the 4 states, build on Bloomberg Philanthropies' commitment of over $100 million to support national, regional, and state-based groups helping state governments implement the Clean Power Plan, as well as the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. Beyond Coal, which aims to secure the retirement of half the nation's coal fleet, has already led to the closure or phasing out 205 coal-fired power plants and helped prevent more than 5,500 premature deaths per year.
"The lawsuits filed last week against the Clean Power Plan will not stop the decline of coal, given its unpopularity and increasingly unattractive economics," said Michael R. Bloomberg. "But when Attorneys General put the coal industry's financial interests ahead of their constituents' right to breathe clean air, we want their constituents to know about it – and these ads will help make sure they do."
Environmental leaders and clean energy experts hailed IUSA PAC's efforts to defend state EPA regulations, saying:
Carl Pope, former Executive Director, Sierra Club: "The Beyond Coal campaign has helped make America a leader in reducing emissions. Many states, cities and even some utilities are realizing that a transition to clean energy will save consumers money, protect public health and combat climate change. The lawsuits filed by these Attorneys General are an assault on communities making progress across their states."
Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director, Michigan League of Conservation Voters: "Politically motivated attacks by the Attorneys General against the EPA climate change rules won't stop the progress that states are already making to reduce carbon pollution and increase clean energy use. In Michigan, we are on track to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. The ads launched today by Independence USA PAC expose the Attorneys General's lawsuit for what it is – an ill conceived attack on safeguards meant to give Michiganders a clean, healthy and safe future."
Stephen Smith, Executive Director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (Florida): "It is unfortunate that Pam Bondi has once again chosen to side with the polluters over Floridians' health and wellbeing. Billions of dollars in coastal real estate, fragile ecosystems like the Everglades and the vital economic engine of tourism all demand practical leadership to address climate change, which is already affecting Florida today. Bondi's politically motivated attacks on commonsense efforts to address carbon pollution and support solar power in the Sunshine State demonstrate an extraordinary failure in leadership."
The Clean Power Plan, released by the EPA in August 2015, imposes limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants for the first time ever. It also helps states to gradually reduce their dependence on coal and other fossil fuels by replacing them with cleaner energy sources. Under the Clean Power Plan, 41 million homes across the country could be powered by renewable energy by 2025 and the US could reduce carbon emissions by at least 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Bloomberg Philanthropies has directly supported the goals of the Clean Power Plan through its Clean Energy Initiative, a program that builds on the former Mayor's record of environmental activism. The Initiative, launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners in January 2015, provides grants to a wide range of groups to help states implement the Clean Power Plan by lending technical and policy expertise to regulators and supporting of the deployment of new clean energy technologies.
The single largest reason for recent reductions in carbon pollution, though, has been the closure, orchestrated by the Beyond Coal campaign, of 205 coal-fired power plants across the country. Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the campaign in 2011 with the Sierra Club and helped build a nationwide grassroots campaign to shutter a third of the polluting coal plants in the U.S. Beyond Coal encourages action at the local, state, and national levels to improve public health and boost economic growth by investing in clean energy. In 2015, Bloomberg and Beyond Coal set an ambitious new goal to secure the retirement half the U.S. coal fleet by 2017.
Thanks in part to these efforts, Beyond Coal is on track to hit that goal. This shift has brought about many encouraging results: the market for clean-energy jobs has rapidly grown, with the solar industry currently employing twice as many people as the coal industry. Perhaps more importantly, it has prevented more than 5,500 deaths that would have been lost to pollution-related causes each year.
As Mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg was a champion of actively tackling climate change and his environmental initiatives made New York a global leader in sustainability. In 2007 Bloomberg launched PlaNYC, the most comprehensive climate change program in City history. PlaNYC's 127 programs—including the planting of more than one million trees, the implementation of mandatory energy efficiency standards for large buildings and the creation of bus rapid transit lines—dramatically reduced the City's carbon footprint, which has dropped 19 percent since 2005, and made the City's air cleaner than it had been in over 50 years. Bloomberg also supervised the building of over 850 acres of new parkland and the City's purchase of almost 90,000 acres of rural land to protect the quality of its water supply.
Bloomberg currently serves as President of the Board of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group—a network of the world's major cities committed to international climate change—and was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Cities and Climate Change.