Climate change moves Bloomberg to back Obama

by Brian Roewe

NCR environment correspondent

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The impact of Hurricane Sandy continues, leading the mayor of America’s largest city to endorse President Barack Obama for a second term, largely due to his stance on climate change.

The New York Times reported Thursday that mayor Michael Bloomberg, leader of New York since 2002, announced his support for Obama in an op-ed piece on (Mayor Bloomberg is the majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News).

“Our climate is changing,” he said after reflecting on the devastation Hurricane Sandy brought to the Northeast, as well as last year's Hurricane Irene. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week’s devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

He continued: “We need leadership from the White House -- and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption,” citing the president’s higher automotive fuel-efficiency standards, and mercury emissions restrictions.

In his commentary, Bloomberg, an independent, acknowledged that Romney once sought to address climate change: “As governor of Massachusetts, he signed on to a regional cap- and-trade plan designed to reduce carbon emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels. …

“Since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward,” Bloomberg said.

The Times reported that both campaigns had sought the New York mayor’s endorsement for months, but Bloomberg resisted as he was unsatisfied with either's direction.

“One [candidate] sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics,” Bloomberg said. 

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