Jeb’s Regrettable Association With Bloomberg Gets Worse Amid Anti-Coal Revelations
The Daily Caller reports that while Jeb Bush was serving as a founding member of the Bloomberg Family Foundation (now called Bloomberg Philanthropies) from 2010 to 2014, that organization’s affiliation with Planned Parenthood wasn’t the only migraine-inducing activity for the increasingly-embattled Republican presidential candidate to explain away.
Asked about the Planned Parenthood support at Thursday’s debate, Bush brushed off the question by claiming the reason he was on the Bloomberg board was its focus on school choice and education and he wasn’t involved in anything else. That defense might work on the abortion issue given Bush’s pro-life record as governor of Florida.
But it might not be so easy to claim ignorance of the fact the foundation was spending $50 million on an initiative to destroy the coal industry at the time Bush was on the board…
Bush, who’s looking to win the Republican presidential nomination, served as a founding director of the Bloomberg Family Foundation — now called Bloomberg Philanthropies — from 2010 through 2014. During Bush’s second year with the organization, Bloomberg donated $50 million to the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign.
The Sierra Club’s anti-coal campaign took Bloomberg’s money in 2011 to cut coal production 30 percent by 2020 through litigation, lobbying for more environmental regulations and activism. The Beyond Coal campaign has also targeted coal-fired power plants with litigation, most recently forcing the closure of the 200th coal plant in the country.
“The retirement of 200 coal plants nationwide represents the phase out of nearly 40 percent of the 523 U.S. coal plants that were in operation just five years ago,” according to the Club. News of the coal-fired power plant shutdown also excited Bloomberg himself.
“Every step we take to reduce coal use helps Americans breathe easier, and the 200th coal plant to announce its retirement since the launch of the Beyond Coal Campaign is a great milestone for public health and for the environment,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
Bush has made references to the “energy revolution” often during his campaign speeches in this cycle, and a June meeting with several coal-industry CEO’s at a Virginia resort indicates he doesn’t agree with Bloomberg’s anti-coal position. But the sloppiness of the affiliation allows for the charge to stick that Bush often “sleeps with the enemy” and lacks the ideological discipline to effectively roll back the damage of the Obama years.
One wonders how many of the coal CEO’s breaking bread with the former governor in June were aware of his association with Bloomberg and its financial backing of the Sierra Club’s jihad against their industry.