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Climate Change Influence on Superstorm Sandy Drives Bloomberg to Endorse Obama

By Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter
November 2, 2012; 12:36 PM ET

Image: Flickr/MTAPhotos

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama's re-election bid today, saying his decision was prompted by the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and his concerns over climate change.

In an op-ed posted to Bloomberg View and on his personal website, Bloomberg wrote that the storm that struck the Northeast earlier this week "brought the stakes of Tuesday's presidential election into sharp relief."

"Our climate is changing. 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 wrote.

Bloomberg, who did not endorse in the 2008 presidential contest, went on to endorse Obama, praising the administration's efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

"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, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks," Bloomberg wrote. "His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year."

He praised Romney as a "good and decent man" but criticized the Republican for moderating his views on climate change since serving as Massachusetts' governor.

"[H]e 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 wrote.

Obama thanked Bloomberg for his support in a statement released by his campaign.

"While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time -- that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it," Obama said.

Click here to read Bloomberg's op-ed.

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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