Michael Bloomberg just spoke to a room of environmentally minded business people at a daylong event hosted by George Pataki at the New York Athletic Club.
Bloomberg heaped praise on Pataki, referring to the former governor’s “remarkable three terms in office.” He described Pataki as “great,” and added that at one point after he become mayor, his goal was just trying to do for New York City what Pataki had done for the state.
The thrust of his speech was that taxing carbon emissions would be a more effective system of limiting pollution than a voluntary cap-and-trade system, which some business folks like. But before that, Bloomberg got a little politics out of the way.
He told the audience about conversations he had on the plane traveling to and from Tim Russert’s funeral today in Washington (reportedly, David Paterson was on board!).
“Did I have any interest in having the same job that George Pataki had for three terms?” Bloomberg asked, describing the content of the conversation. Then, referring to Pataki, who was sitting in the front row, the mayor said, “Not after what you told me about the job. Not a chance.”
And I can’t help but note what Bloomberg had to say about current members of Congress, who are setting environmental benchmarks for the nation to reach by 2050.
“2050 is a long time away,” Bloomberg said with some levity. “As a matter of fact, it is so long, if you were an actuary, then you would understand that there is nobody in Congress today who will be in Congress in 2050. As a matter of fact, most of them won’t be alive. So, it’s certainly a safe date to set a goal for. God forbid you should be held accountable in your next election.”