FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017 file photo, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice delivers his first State of the State speech in Charleston, W.Va. Justice is switching parties to join Republicans as President Donald Trump plans a visit to the increasingly conservative state. (AP Photo/Walter Scriptunas II, File)

CHARLESTON — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $500 million effort to close the nation's remaining coal plants isn't sitting well in West Virginia.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice pushed back on the clean energy plan at a news conference Monday, saying it will destroy the economy of his coal-producing state.

Bloomberg last week announced his investment in the Beyond Carbon initiative, which aims to put the U.S. on track toward a 100% clean energy economy. The organization seeks to pass climate policies and back political candidates at the state and local level.

A spokeswoman for Bloomberg's philanthropic group says shifting to renewable energy can help address a decline in mining jobs.

Justice declined to answer a question about whether he believes in climate change. He says more study is needed.


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