Bloomberg gives $48M to help states meet Obama's climate rule

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching an initiative to help states meet the targets set by the Obama administration to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. 

Bloomberg's charity arm and the California Heising-Simons family on Wednesday announced the plan, which will provide $48 million in funding to localities and states to "accelerate" a transition to cleaner energy.

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Specifically, the proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency requires states to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. 

“These grants will help states meet new federal clean power requirements in ways that save money and lives," Bloomberg said in a statement. 

“With the price of clean power falling, and the potential costs of inaction on climate change steadily rising, the work of modernizing America’s power grid is both more feasible and urgent than ever. But smart investments can reduce it while also strengthening local economies,” Bloomberg added.

The Clean Energy Initiative will offer analysis on grid capabilities for different energy sources like wind and solar, and it will push states to create plans for achieving individual targets set by the EPA. 

The EPA has said it will finalize the rule by this summer, but Republicans in Congress plan to launch a fresh assault against the regulation now that they control both chambers.  

The GOP argues the regulation would drive up energy costs, eliminate coal jobs and hurt the economy.