Saturday, March 22, 2014
Who is Tom Steyer?
We need to find out because Tom Steyer has announced that he is going to spend $100 million dollars to promote green energy. How is he going to do this? By supporting Democrats. He is often simply identified by his supporters as a billionaire and a hedge fund manager. Is that all? What's under the blanket?
It seems that he's not acting from altruistic motives.
“Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager with major investments in renewable energy, is promoting a $1.1 billion tax on out of state businesses with operations in California to fund renewable energy projects.
It is Obama bundler, hedge fund manager, and Center for American Progress board member Tom Steyer’s Farallon Capital Management that is selling LightSquared’s debt to investors such as Carl Icahn. So I suppose one cannot say that LightSquared has been a total waste for Obama’s pals.
Steyer, "Is reportedly one of the backers of Greener Capital, which invests in alternative fuel companies that benefit from the anti-oil policies of the Obama administration. Steyer is also the founder and senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management, which stands to profit from government policies that increase consumption of natural gas."The Beacon goes on to give more interesting tidbits about Steyer being a Goldman Sachs protegé of Robert Rubin, but what caught my attention is that while Mr. Styers' alternative energy investments are quite impressive, he also "owns millions of dollars worth of shares in Big Oil companies such as BP."
In January of this year Steyer coauthored a Wall Street Journal op-ed with John Podesta, “We Don’t Need More Foreign Oil and Gas,” that supported Obama’s decision not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada and argued for extending “clean-energy programs like the Production Tax Credit” and reviving “the Manufacturing Tax Credit, which helps factories retool for the clean-tech sector.” The authors failed to disclose that Steyer helps pay Podesta’s salary and that his investments would net millions if the federal government shaped public policy to his liking—millions of dollars that then would be funneled back into institutions like CAP and Democratic campaigns like Obama’s.
Tom Steyer, a billionaire investor who has raised at least $50,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign, will speak about energy policy as it relates to the president’s vision of “an economy built to last,” which includes his plan to “double down” on taxpayer-backed green energy investments.Such a doubling down would benefit Steyer, who is reportedly one of the backers of Greener Capital, which invests in alternative fuel companies that benefit from the anti-oil policies of the Obama administration.Steyer is also the founder and senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management, a $20 billion hedge fund that ranks as one of the largest of its kind in the world.Farallon stands to profit from government policies that increase consumption of natural gas. Farallon owns nearly $14 million worth of shares of Westport Innovations, the self-described ”global leader in natural gas engines.” The Westport Carbon Project (WCP), according to its website, ”was established to monetize the carbon emission reductions associated with the Westport HD engine, the Cummins Westport ISL G and other natural gas engines developed with our OEM partners. The WCP enables customers to earn annual carbon rebate cheques for the natural gas vehicles in their fleet as of January 1, 2010.”Farallon also owns more than $8 million worth of shares of Fuel Systems Solutions, which according to its website ”designs, manufactures and supplies proven, cost-effective alternative fuel components and systems for transportation and industrial applications. Its gaseous fuel technology for propane (LPG) and natural gas (CNG) generates savings, reduces emissions, and promotes energy independence.”
[After listing the financial interest Steyer has in making traditional energy more expensive]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.
His 2012 Wall Street Journal op-ed making the case for natural gas was coauthored with Tom Steyer, the hedge-fund billionaire who is quickly becoming one of the most powerful men in the Democratic Party. Steyer is known mainly for his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline, and for his recent pledge to raise and spend $100 million on behalf of Democrats in this year’s elections. According to Reid Wilson, liberal donors such as Steyer “aren’t going to realize a profit if their chosen candidates win.” This is not true.Steyer pledged to remove himself from the operations of his hedge fund, Farallon Capital Management, in the waning days of 2012, when he was being considered as a possible secretary of Energy in the second Obama administration. But he remains an “outside limited partner” with the firm, and the “bulk” of his billion-dollar fortune is parked there. As of 2012, when Steyer was supporting Democrats, donating millions to Podesta’s Center for American Progress, and otherwise championing natural gas over other forms of energy, Farallon held more than $7 million in shares of gas technology company Fuel Systems Solutions. He was making plenty of money from the Obama administration’s championing of natural gas.As of the end of 2013, Farallon also held close to $40 million in Kinder Morgan, which is building a competitor to the Keystone Pipeline. When Farallon’s position in Kinder Morgan was exposed last summer—after the Keystone debate had been raging for years—Steyer pledged to sell his share of the stock and donate the profits to charity. Last September, it was revealed that Steyer had backed a UT study on hydraulic fracturing, which showed that the process does not result in dangerous methane emissions. As far as I can determine, Steyer remains an adviser to and backer of EFW Partners, a “global investor in the basic resources critical for economic growth: energy, food, and water.” I wonder whether EFW is short or long on LNG.
In September 2012, the Washington Free Beacon documented that Steyer "is reportedly one of the backers of Greener Capital, which invests in alternative fuel companies that benefit from the anti-oil policies of the Obama administration." What's key to this Green Corruption file is that "Steyer has donated at least $1.4 million to the Center for American Progress (CAP) since 2009 through his TomKat Charitable Trust. As of 2010, he was listed as a director of the left-wing think tank."In December 2013, The Beacon, in their piece "Keystone to the Kingdom," we find a stunning look at the relationship between Mr. Steyer and John Podesta: "Steyer is on the board of the Center for American Progress, and in the early months of 2012 he and Podesta cosigned a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “We Don’t Need More Foreign Oil and Gas,” arguing against Keystone and for tax loopholes such as the Production Tax Credit, increasing the value of the green energy companies in which Steyer invested and on whose boards Podesta sat."Moreover, while a slew of Democrats who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, stand to benefit from its rejection, Farallon Capital Management "has extensive holdings in fossil fuel companies — including investments that could benefit from the blocking of the Keystone pipeline," reported The Daily Caller in May 2013. One in particular stands out: "Farallon also still holds stock in BP" –– the oil giant that according to POLITICO in 2010, Obama was the biggest recipient of BP donations over the past twenty years."
Steyer is an "environmentalist" the same way Warren Buffett is a candy maker. Steyer is investing million sin Democrat politicians who will help his "green" energy firms make billions from government contracts, from government subsidies and from the government squeezing traditional energy sources. The end result of this Crony Capitalism - or to put it more simply: corruption - is that the people get poorer while the well connected get rich at your expense. Meanwhile the press, who would scream bloody murder if it were a conservative pulling off this crime, are covering up for Steyer, calling him an "environmentalist" rather than a rent-seeking crook.
You will not, for instance find this information in the NY Times or Washington Post who are writing laudatory articles about this benevolent billionaire. What they won't tell you either is that they are literally sleeping with Steyer supporters.
So we have a contrast that couldn’t be clearer: the Washington Post published a false story about support for Keystone because it fit the Democratic Party’s agenda. It covered up a similar, but true story about opposition to the pipeline (and about “green” politics in general) because that, too, fit the Democratic Party’s agenda. I don’t think we need to look any further to connect the dots.And yet, a still deeper level of corruption is on display here. Juliet Eilperin is a reporter for the Washington Post who covers, among other things, environmental politics. As I wrote in my prior post, she is married to Andrew Light. Light writes on climate policy for the Center for American Progress, a far-left organization that has carried on a years-long vendetta against Charles and David Koch on its web site, Think Progress. Light is also a member of the Obama administration, as Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the Department of State. The Center for American Progress is headed by John Podesta, who chaired Barack Obama’s transition team and is now listed as a “special advisor” to the Obama administration. Note that Ms. Eilperin quoted Podesta, her husband’s boss, in her puff piece on Tom Steyer.Oh, yes–one more thing. Guess who sits on the board of the Center for American Progress? Yup. Tom Steyer.This kind of incest is common in Washington. You can’t separate the reporters from the activists from the Obama administration officials from the billionaire cronies. Often, as in this instance, the same people wear two or more of those hats simultaneously. However bad you think the corruption and cronyism in Washington are, they are worse than you imagine. And if you think the Washington Post is part of a free and independent press, think again.