Tom Steyer’s concern for the environment and almost religious devotion to promoting green energy appear to be targeting another kind of green.
Steyer, criticized for the hypocrisy of having built some of his fortune on coal, is now connected to green energy companies that might benefit from his climate change activism.
Recently published tax documents for solar firm Kilowatt Financial, LLC, listed Steyer as a “manager” and a “managing member,” according the Washington Free Beacon. As manager, Steyer is “chosen by the members to manage the LLC and is similar to a director of a corporation.”
Kilowatt Financial offers solar energy management options for homeowners. According to its website, the company handles installation, financing, maintenance, and tax credit paperwork for buying solar electricity, and leasing or owning a solar power system.
The company, founded in 2011, could benefit from the “green energy” lobbying Steyer does. That’s substantial. In the 2014 election cycle alone, Steyer spent $74 million through his NextGen climate PAC to promote a climate alarmist agenda, attack fossil fuels, and back candidates who supported alternative energy (like solar).
In the most recent reporting period, official documents indicated Steyer was the one keeping NextGen Climate afloat. The Washington Times reported, “the latest Federal Elections Commission report shows that contributors other than Mr. Steyer invested just $2,457 in the super PAC.” Steyer himself put $5 million into the PAC during that same time.
Steyer’s fervent dedication to alternative energy, therefore, appears fundamentally financial. He floods his own PAC with his personal money to push for policies that benefit the green energy company he helps manage.
Alternative Energy wasn’t always Steyer’s focus. He only began attacking coal power in 2011 - the same year that Kilowatt was founded.
Meanwhile in Australia, the hedge fund that Steyer started and ran until at least 2013, Farallon Capital Management, was busy finalizing a transaction to create what is on track to become one of Australia’s largest coal mining operations. This deal increased coal production in Australia by a staggering 70 million tons.
Steyer divested from Farallon in 2014 after saying that he could not reconcile it with his current personal beliefs about climate change. Also, conveniently after he had made a fortune.
After he divested, the media praised Steyer for his conversion from profit-seeking capitalist to environmental hero. Clearly they ignored the profits he would get from pushing green energy.