At a campaign-style rally in the lobby of Trump Tower Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed President Donald Trump for million in fines his properties could face under a carbon-cutting bill that the mayor hasn’t yet signed into law.
De Blasio, who for months has been flirting with a presidential bid, called out eight Trump properties that pump out as much planet-warming emissions annually as 5,800 cars, and could face $2.1 million in fines under new law aimed at slashing those emissions.
“We won’t allow him to go on like that,” de Blasio shouted, above Frank Sinatra blaring over the lobby’s speakers, against a backdrop of Trump supporters riding up and down escalators waving posters scrawled with “Worst mayor ever” and “Trump 2020.”
“We have a message for President Trump, and all the other big building owners in New York City, cut your emissions or we will cut something you really care about,” de Blasio said. “We will take your money, we will find you, we will hold you accountable.”
The president’s eight largest properties in the city pump out some 27,000 tons of greenhouse gases each year and would exceed new pollution standards set by New York City’s ‘Green New Deal’ approved by the City Council on April 22.
That package of bills includes a measure requiring landlords of buildings more than 25,000 square feet—which are responsible for 30 percent of the city’s carbon emissions—to perform energy-efficient retrofits. But the mayor has yet to sign that legislation into law, and today said “this bill will become law, I guarantee you.”
Under the law, the biggest offender in the president’s portfolio is Trump International Hotel & Tower, a nearly 600-foot skyscraper at the corner of Central Park West and Columbus Circle. If improvements to the building are not made by 2030, it would face an $850,871 fee per year until those upgrades are made. Other major Trump-owned offenders could include 40 Wall Street, 845 United Nations Plaza, and Trump Tower itself. The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
De Blasio called Trump’s cadre of properties “among the biggest polluters” in the city and said his administration plans to release a list of properties owned by other developers that are “the most problematic buildings.” The city itself is in the midst of spending $3 billion on energy efficient upgrades on its buildings in anticipation of the new standards and begun that work in 2015.
De Blasio called competing chants from Trump supporters and blaring tunes at Trump Tower “music to my ears.” The chaotic din nearly drowned out the rally with the mayor’s voice going hoarse as he shouted over the din and reporters approached the podium so he could make out their questions.
“It’s so nice of them to serenade us here at Trump Tower, but clearly they are uncomfortable about the truth,” de Blasio said. “It means we’re doing something meaningful. When you get opposition from Donald Trump and Trump supporters, you’re doing something right.”
If de Blasio decides to throw his hat into the 2020 presidential race, he would be the 22nd candidate vying from the Democratic nomination. He expects to announce whether he’ll be running later this week.
“We’ll make a final decision this week and we’ll announce this week,” de Blasio said.