NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the press conference announcing his $50 million dollar Beyond Coal donation. Photo by Heather Moyer.
"When the region is under alert for pollution levels considered dangerous to children and other particularly vulnerable individuals," he says.
With the stacks of Alexandria's GenOn power plant behind him, the mayor announced a $50 million donation to the Sierra Club's campaign to retire coal plants and promote clean energy across the country.
"Every year coal burning power plants like this one cause more than 200,000 asthma attacks nationwide," he says. "Coal pollution also kills 13,000 people every year and costs us $100 billion dollars in medical expenses."
Northern Virginia Congressman Jim Moran says he's been trying to close the Alexandria plant for 25 years. The Democrat is hopeful Bloomberg's gift will help accomplish that goal.
"It’s a source of poisonous pollution in a very densely populated area right across the river from the Nation's Capital," he says.
But in a statement, GenOn spokesperson Misty Allen says the company operates in compliance with environmental laws. And she says Bloomberg’s announcement has no effect on GenOn’s plans for its Potomac River station.