Bloomberg’s Own Windy City

Speaking at the 2008 National Clean Energy Summit, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for the city to utilize more wind energy.©

What"s next on NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg"s march to green Gotham? Wind power, of course. The second term Republican mayor hinted at an ambitious strategy to make New York City a national leader in the development of wind energy at a recent alternative energy conference in Las Vegas. He said he plans to approach private companies and investors to study how wind turbines small and large can contribute significantly to reducing the city"s carbon footprint with homegrown, renewable wind energy. "In New York, we don’t think of alternative power as something that we just import from other parts of the nation," he said.

Meanwhile, New York City also issued a formal request for proposals to companies across the country that can help build wind, solar and water-based energy sources in the city. "We want their best ideas for creating both small- and large-scale projects serving New Yorkers," said Bloomberg.

Environmentalists are quick to point out that just because Bloomberg wants something to happen doesn"t necessarily mean it will happen. Case in point: the Mayor made a big push last year to institute so-called "congestion pricing" to help reduce traffic loads during peak business and commuting hours, but the state"s legislature struck down the proposal and shows no signs of relenting. Those in favor of NYC becoming a wind power pioneer will no doubt hope that Bloomberg"s latest idea meets with a better fate once it gets to state lawmakers and beyond.

Regardless, Bloomberg"s willingness to propose such forward-thinking plans benefitting both business and the environment puts the well-liked mayor—who has 18 months left in office before state term limits send him packing—in a good position to vie for the Republican presidential nod in 2012 or later. With so few Republicans taking affirmative positions on green issues, Bloomberg could be just the fresh air the GOP needs.

Sources: MSNBC; Planetizen