Bloomberg on Energy

Mayor Bloomberg, America’s chief nanny regulator, is moving on to bigger things — energy! During the recent heat spell he urged New Yorkers to turn down their air conditioners.  The last thing he wants is another blackout!

But, while asking Americans to forego air conditioning (one of the most significant public health technologies extant), he also proudly announced a $50 million grant to the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign. The goal of this program announced Mike Brune, the program’s director, is to shut down about one-third of the nation’s coal plants and replace them with clean energy as quickly as possible. They admit this will raise electricity prices (modestly, they claim!) and result in reduced availability of affordable energy — and, thus, availability of air conditioning.

Bloomberg also has championed energy conservation but has been a bit more cautious in endorsing “renewable” energy (windmills, biofuels) and has come out against premature closing of the Indian Point twin nuclear power plants. Closing these plants he noted would reduce energy availability by about 25 percent — and there is no alternative for that loss. A news account of this issue noted: “While Bloomberg is a Republican and Cuomo is a Democrat, this is not a partisan fight. What it is about is a mayor who looks at the reality of the situation and a governor who’s near obsessive focus on closing the reactors defies rational explanation.” The reporter quoted Bloomberg: “If you close Indian Point today, we’d have enormous blackouts.”

But Bloomberg displays a confusion all too typical of “clean energy” advocates. Opposition to energy production elsewhere, an element of realism when the costs will be realized locally.

Of course, his policies aren’t like to affect his lifestyle. The New York Post noted:

Mayor Bloomberg – who has advocated everything from ditching incandescent light bulbs to taxing Midtown commuters to clean the air – produces 364 tons of smog-inducing carbon dioxide a year, according to an nalysis of the billionaire’s trans-Atlantic real estate portfolio and travel style.

That’s a carbon footprint larger than what’s produced by 18 average Americans, 53 Europeans or 404 Guatemalans. It’s equivalent to keeping 69 cars a year on the road or lighting the Empire State Building for 4 ½ days.

Besides his spacious Upper East Side townhouse, the mayor owns five homes: a country house in Armonk; a farm in North Salem, both in Westchester; a four-bedroom condo in Vail, Colo.; a palatial flat on London’s posh Cadogan Square, and a sprawling, 6,000-square-foot beachfront spread in Bermuda.