Democrats have decided to lean-in, not back-away, from so-called clean energy. Despite the embarrassing history of government-funded green-energy failures, "wealthy environmentalists are pushing Democrats to take bolder positions on climate change" — and global warming, as an issue, provides the impetus for more green-energy spending.
The Boston Globe reported on a recent "summit between Washington's liberal elite and San Francisco's climate intelligentsia" that included "Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, six other senators, and ... Al Gore." The Globe points to new efforts by Democrats to "make global warming a central issue during the midterms."
Reid has, according to the Globe, "pledged to allot time to anyone who wants to discuss climate change at party lunches or on the Senate floor."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., planned the all-night talkathon on the subject that took place on Monday — which even the Washington Post acknowledged was more about campaign cash than any action on climate change.
They don't want to miss out on the $100 million in campaign cash the "wealthy environmentalists" have committed to cooperative candidates — while also "threatening to withhold money from candidates in swing states who support the Keystone oil pipeline."
The Globe quotes Wade Randlett, a renewable energy entrepreneur who co-hosted the San Francisco fundraiser, as saying: "What was really energizing is everyone understood clean energy would be at the forefront of the Senate agenda. It wasn't back-away; it was clearly lean-in."
So, who are these "wealthy environmentalists," who are driving the agenda and making powerful U.S. Senators jump like an organ grinder's monkey to do their bidding? The answer is found in Christine Lakatos' newest report for the Green Corruption Files: The dark, driving force behind the president's massive green-energy scheme.
Lakatos focuses on the left-wing think tank, Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta — who is now serving as White House counselor specializing in climate change issues. The Huffington Post says this about the center and Podesta: "John Podesta probably is and has been the most important opinion leader for progressives in America in the last decade, certainly during the term of the Obama Administration, through his leadership of the Center for American Progress." The Huffington Post points out: the center has "been a vocal voice for this president's policies in the media and on the Hill. But their area of highest visibility is advocacy for a clean-energy economy where John Podesta has personally led the effort."
Podesta is the organ grinder from within the White House and progressive political platforms. Tom Steyer is now doing the same from outside Washington — leading "San Francisco's climate intelligentsia."
In light of his recent political-influence reveal, Tom Steyer — a center board member and donor, Obama bundler, and host of the recent "summit" (held on his 1800-acre ranch, with views of the Golden Gate Bridge) — is worthy of special attention. Who is he and where did he get his money?
Steyer founded and was the senior managing member of Farallon Capital Management — until late 2012 when the firm's partners bought out his "profit share." His net worth is estimated to be $1.55 billion — some of which is reported to have been made through millions of dollars worth of shares his firm invested in big oil companies such as BP and pipeline company Kinder Morgan. Fox News reports: "He continues to have significant investments with Farallon, according to a spokesman, Steyer has directed the fund to 'green' his portfolio and divest him of all positions in oil and coal — including Kinder Morgan."
Regarding his recent interest in California's blooming green-technology industry, the New York Times quoted Steyer as saying: "really what we're fighting is self-interested dirty-energy companies."
Having made billions through "dirty-energy companies," Farallon Capital Management has been greening its portfolio. The Times cites Steyer, when he was still with Farallon, as "the main financial backer of Greener Capital (now EFW Capital), a venture firm that invests in renewable energy start ups." A 2012 Washington Free Beacon report points out some of Farallon's other green-energy investments include the Westport Carbon project — established to monetize carbon emission reductions; and Fuel Systems Solutions—which manufactures alternative fuel components.
While a 2011 Forbes profile on Steyer quotes him as saying: "I am a true believer that we have to change the way we generate and consume energy in the United States," it would also be easy to view his combined investment and politicking efforts as "self-interested," as he does stand to profit from the polices he's promoting.
Steyer calling traditional energy companies "self-interested" is like the presumed morally superior pot calling the proven economically superior kettle black. Perhaps he really is a "true believer." If so, he should remove himself from any form of financial gain he can reap from his political activism and donations. But maybe, like I do, those self-interested oil companies truly believe that developing our own resources to provide all Americans with energy that is efficient, effective, and economical is in America's best interest.
The 2014 elections give Americans the opportunity to decide whether they side with the 28 Democrat senators at Monday night's sleepover who are dancing at the behest of the organ grinders — or if we want to learn from the mistakes of their failed green-energy projects that only profit the wealthy while robbing taxpayers, raise electricity, rates and hurt the poor.
Do we lean-in or back-away?