A very interesting development considering that Mayor Bloomberg has supported SAFE gas development in New York State. One would think that our Governor would be wise enough to recognize the folly of his ways. One only has to look at the devastation that Sandy brought to New York and the relationship to rising sea levels and dirty fossil fuels. It is clear that New York State has steadily caused the demise of upstate industries in favor of the tax rich financial markets focused in NYC. The emasculation of upstate through the practical elimination of industrial diversification that in the past made NY strong, has brought it to its knees. Hurricane Sandy will compound the negative effects on our state. Safe drilling and extraction have been our constant theme, not just drill and run. We need gas and we need it now, we cannot afford delay after delay the clock is ticking! While we wait the acid rain caused by coal fired plants continues to destroy our lakes and forests.JLCpulse
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ Published: November 1, 2012 in The New York TimesIn a surprise announcement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Thursday that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign and that as a result he was endorsing President Obama.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term leading New York City, has been sharply critical of both Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican rival, saying that both men have failed to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. But he said he had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the best candidate to tackle the global climate change that the mayor believes contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.
“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of next Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote in an editorial for Bloomberg View.
“Our climate is changing,” he wrote. “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 may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s announcement is another indication that Hurricane Sandy has influenced the presidential campaign. The storm, and the destruction it left in its wake, has dominated news coverage, transfixing the nation and prompting the candidates to halt their campaigning briefly.
More than that, it appears to have given a new level of urgency to a central issue in the presidential campaign: the appropriate size and role of government.
As the Federal Emergency Management Agency began undertaking relief efforts across the Northeast, Mr. Romney found himself in the tough position of having to clarify a statement he made last year in which he appeared to back giving the states a larger share of the federal government’s role in disaster response.
But Mr. Bloomberg’s endorsement was largely unexpected. For months, the Obama and Romney campaigns have sought the mayor’s endorsement, in large part because they believe he could influence independent voters around the country.
Mr. Bloomberg has steadfastly withheld his support, largely because he had grown frustrated with the tone and substance of the presidential campaign – recently deriding as “gibberish” the answers that Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney gave during a debate to a question about an assault weapons ban. He has expressed disappointment with Mr. Obama’s performance over the past few years, and concern about what he has described as Mr. Romney’s shifts in views over time.
In announcing his endorsement, Mr. Bloomberg listed the various steps Mr. Obama had taken over the last four years to confront the issue of climate change, including pushing regulations that seek to curtail emissions from cars and power plants. But the mayor cited other reasons for endorsing Mr. Obama, including the president’s support for abortion rights and for same-sex couples, two high-priority issues for the mayor.
At the same time, Mr. Bloomberg said he might have endorsed Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, except for the fact that the Republican had abandoned positions he once publicly held.
“In the past he has taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care – but he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the very health care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” the mayor said of Mr. Romney.
Mr. Bloomberg did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2008, when Mr. Obama ran against Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona.
Even in his endorsement, the mayor continued to express criticism of the president. He said that Mr. Obama had fallen short of his 2008 campaign promise to be a problem-solver and consensus builder, noting that he “devoted little time” to creating a coalition of centrists in Washington who could find common ground on important issues like illegal guns, immigration, tax reform and deficit reduction.
“Rather than uniting the country around a message of shared sacrifice,” Mr. Bloomberg said of Mr. Obama, “he engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.”
In a statement, Mr. Obama said he was “honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement.” The president acknowledged Mr. Bloomberg’s chief concern, saying climate change was “a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it.”
“While we may not agree on every issue,” the president added, “Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time.”
And, alluding to the damage from the hurricane, Mr. Obama said: “He has my continued commitment that this country will stand by New York in its time of need. And New Yorkers have my word that we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger.”
The endorsement is the latest effort by Mr. Bloomberg to affect the national political debate as he nears the twilight of his tenure in City Hall.
Last month, the mayor announced that he was creating his own “super PAC” to support candidates from either party, as well as independents, who he believed are devoted to his brand of nonideological problem solving, and who supported same-sex marriage, tougher gun laws or school reform. A billionaire, Mr. Bloomberg said he would spend from $10 million to $15 million of his money in highly competitive state, local and Congressional races.