Conservationist groups announce commitment to retire coal

Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Sierra Club plan to invest in renewable energy in response to the Trump administration's roll-back of the Clean Power Plan.
7:21 | 10/11/17

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Transcript for Conservationist groups announce commitment to retire coal
Hi everyone I'm Mary Alice parks are watching ABC news digital we're here at the Sierra cloud in downtown Washington DC where former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Had a pretty announcement announcing additional 64 million dollars at its plant that heats. Is going to donate to work on it can't came studded Sierra Club in the League of Conservation Voters. Still. To work to continue to rollback the use of plus Odyssey a little bit of a back and forth between. Environmental groups like to have you represent out and basically the top administration Scott Pruitt. The EPA administrator announcing just yesterday that the a repealing. A previous king called plant clean power plant. From the Obama's nation self and joined by Michael Grant executive director of the Sierra Club and at the Williams who works closely with Bloomberg's plan B that figured to charge. Backup programs rile them. So that's what's your first a bit more about where some of this new money will be gone what are the first next at three Kleenex. Certain of the money will go to our efforts to help communities to reduce there in water pollution that comes from mining and burning coal. Advantage that we have it's that clean renewable energy is now more affordable and more accessible than it's ever been. So when a community moves past poll they can create more jobs and of course cut air and water and climate pollution. But they also can save ratepayers money so. Our efforts we'll go in community after community state after state to make sure that we're replacing coal with clean energy and helping the economy is wealthy and. Firemen and where you spend 38 billion dollars. But one of the things that's really incredible about Sierra Club from Bloomberg entered its experiences that. They really represent a grassroots army people in communities around. And so when we started this campaign in this partnership on young followed with Sierra Club 2011. There in about fifteen states. The infusion of cash from them are the answer is allowed this here to expand that really on national campaign 45 states targeting them. The most polluting coal plants around the country to transit isn't. It. And the thing that's a really great about the announcement today is that. We now broadened that coalition so Sierra Club is letting on these issues League of Conservation Voters as. Working on advocacy at the state level on these issues. And groups like it's just isn't working on litigation is going to be really really important trip administration continues to try to roll back the progress that we don't. 08 and interests. That topic of litigation it's been up so they a lot of the talking about a by the environmental groups over the last few days have threatened to sue stated they are launching lawsuits against the top administration. Idling at this announcement but you know the other side as Scott Pruitt says that this from bird RD decided that the Abbas administration sort of overstepped. Its bounds with a clean out power plants are trying to regulate things beyond. Beyond the purview of the law is litigation really the best use of money while writing exam. Well the first thing I'd say and then Sierra Club has fantastic players during games every damn but the EPA is required. To protect americans' health from harmful. Pollutants and the courts have found consistently that carbon and climate change represents a real threat and the eking its active on it so. This isn't just a matter a choice or ideology it's about protecting people's health and settled litigation strategies. Are gonna continue to be a really important place where we need that government uphold the law. I'm in eastern part will ultimately decide. Well because. There at that eat this record it's already ruled us just said that. EPA needs to regulate carbon because it's a threat to public health. And they've also supported regulations on the clean power plant that begins to minimize the use of Poland's make sure that it's. Being burn more cleanly. So what's happening right now in the reason why we think litigation is an effective strategies. According to American Lung Association chapter of Americans live in places where it's unhealthy to breathe. About that half of all Americans live in a place where it's you can breathe without running a risk of getting sick that affects. The elderly and affects children and it affects people with other illnesses. What we have found is that in site after site across the country many coal burning utilities are violating the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Hundreds of times every year. So were able to hold those utilities and hold those companies accountable to law and that's why we've been so successful. You know and that never habitats a lot about. The fact that that the nation as a whole might still be able to eat some of the bulls outline of the clean power plant in the pairs I'm an accord. Because of actions that states and cities or taking you talk more about that and whether it matters the federal government is involved if states and cities there. Are setting their own. All of us of the some good news here and then some frustrating news the good news is these. Just that that we're seeing many mayors many governors many CEOs. School universities. Thousands of different institutions have responded to the president's with. An attempt to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement by saying we're still in. I'm gonna accelerate our efforts to move towards clean energy. And if you aggregate all of that up like lumber plant he's beginning to do. It shows that we the United States can meet our commitments under the Paris I'm an agreement and uphold our reputation around the world. The problem is that we should have the federal government leading this fight we need to be responding to climate change to all of these fires and extreme weather events in the US and around the world. With the full scale. Press a full court press to make sure that we're moving beyond fossil fuels towards clean energy so to have. The president and have congress completely abdicate their responsibility only holds us back. There's certain states today US are working closely with certain mayors are aren't governors they are lobbying well. Public spoke and really loudly and clearly isn't strong decided to turn its back on the Paris agreement so there's. Hundreds. Cities and governors and business is in sad we're still to meet the parents commitment and the Atlanta he's operates on our environmental programs all around the world and so in the week trump. Making that announcement in June. What we were getting everywhere and and it's and the US stomach progress on climate change despite how and how how are you go with a hostile. In Washington. And so we undertook an effort with governor Jerry Brown in California called America's clutch. That's designed to have really aggregation quantify exactly what our businesses cities and states doing and how far can we get. Without Washington and the final results are not and that's that say. You know he's data that we have over that in the coming months but. I will say that from them Bloomberg perspective we're very confident that we can meet Paris commitments and soon. Those who are looking at the United States around the world and saying what's happening we're actually RT how quit there. And we have a long way to go but there's a lot of that work and he conceded and a lot of good movement on these issues. Life and to view for taking time to talk to view more we are talking to a number of adult groups of the last few days here at this year clouding DC but. All of these groups really responding and enforce it new programs and new ideas. In response to it the president EPA administrators decision. To repeal and rolled back that clean power plant you've been watching ABC news digital I'm Mary Alice parks thinks that's.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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