West Virginia governor responds to Bloomberg's pledge to help shutdown coal plants

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is firing back after former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently pledged $500 million to an initiative to close off coal-fired plants.

Bloomberg tweeted Thursday about the pledge to the Beyond Carbon initiative. The goal is to close off coal-fired plants and stop construction of natural gas power plants.

"Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Beyond Carbon initiative is short-sighted, nonsensical and, if successful, will have a calamitous impact on West Virginia and American workers.

"The U.S. continues to make dramatic reductions in carbon output and the vast majority of the greenhouse gas generation is coming from abroad, chiefly in the Pacific Rim countries. For crying out loud, if Bloomberg wants to make a positive impact, he should focus his efforts in Asia and get those countries to bring their carbon output in line with America's.

"West Virginia is an 'all-in' energy state. We mine coal, produce natural gas and we have a growing renewable portfolio. These industries provide life-sustaining jobs and have made our economy one of the fastest growing in the country.

"Michael Bloomberg and the radical Sierra Club organization have declared war on the American worker. If this campaign is successful, massive numbers of West Virginians will lose their livelihoods and the U.S. economy will suffer greatly. And all of this for extremely minor global reductions of emissions.

"I stand with our State's hundred of thousands energy, oil/gas, coal, pipeline, and utility workers and their families and challenge anyone anywhere who threatens to remove their livelihoods."

Governor Justice says he plans to hold a press conference Monday afternoon with leaders of the state's energy industry to denounce Bloomberg's announcement.

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