FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 22, 2023
[TRIANGLE, VA.] Commenting on the announcement that Michael Bloomberg is donating $500 million to fund a campaign to prematurely close every coal-fired power plant in the United States, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“Michael Bloomberg has coal miners, their families and their communities in his sights once again. Not satisfied to have killed tens of thousands of their jobs in the last decade, devastating families and communities throughout America’s coalfields, he and the environmental groups who do the actual dirty work for him have decided the time has come to wipe them all out for good.
“The United States and much of the world are in an energy transition, the devastating cost of which is placed squarely on the backs of traditional energy workers and their families. The UMWA has proposed ways to accomplish a true transition that changes that dynamic and does not leave these workers behind.
“We have worked with responsible parties inside and outside of government in an effort to move forward while protecting our members, their families and their communities. They agree with us that there will be no justice in this transition unless workers and their families are put first.
“But Mr. Bloomberg’s announcement makes no mention of what will happen to the workers and their families. It makes no mention of the devastation he has already brought to Appalachia and elsewhere, which he is now doubling down on. He makes no provision to help workers by providing training opportunities or incentives for new job creation in the coalfields.
“That comes as no surprise, because he has never respected workers or their families in his entire career. But he, and the organizations he is funding, can rest assured that we and our allies inside and outside the labor movement will fight back. We do not have $500 million to throw around, but we do have the faces and voices of hard-working American families whose lives and livelihoods are at even greater risk today.”