Reuters Exposes Gore's Global Warming Profit Motive

For years, NewsBusters has asked the question: when will media report Nobel Laureate Al Gore's global warming profit motive?

On Monday, Reuters did.

In an article titled "Gore-backed Hara Sees Profit from Low-carbon Economy," author David Lawsky went where most climate change obsessed media members dare not (h/t Steven Milloy):

An environmental start-up backed by Al Gore's venture capital firm aims to take advantage of coming U.S. climate change legislation by helping companies like Coca Cola and even cities cut pollution.

Hara, a 25-employee company that debuted in 2008, provides online software to help companies reduce their carbon footprint -- a $2.5 billion market that will grow 10-fold if the proposed energy bill, which will require companies to get permits for emissions, becomes law, Chief Executive Amit Chatterjee said.

At the heart of the legislation is a "cap-and-trade" system that will gradually reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by industry, by requiring them to have permits to spew their emissions.

"Then companies will be forced to act, as opposed to seeing the business benefit of acting," he said in an interview, "The debate alone of 'cap and trade' is a driver for our product."

After the set-up, Lawsky fingered Gore:

Positioning itself for the new market, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins last year invested $6 million in Hara -- which counts the city of Palo Alto as a client -- with the endorsement of former U.S. Vice President Gore, who is a partner.

Yes, he is a partner, and as NewsBusters reported in November 2007, the fact that Gore claims to be contributing his salary from Kleiner Perkins to his non-profit Alliance for Climate Protection is irrelevant, for he not only gets these wages free and clear from taxes while being able to control them, he's also in position to REALLY benefit from the upside in equity values when any of the holdings of this firm go public.

That is, after all, how venture capitalists make money, for typically very little of their income is salary-based.

With this in mind, the British Register pointed out just how much Hara and Gore would benefit from currently proposed cap-and-trade legislation passing on Capitol Hill:

As the US House of Representatives mulls The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 - which would put restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions - Hara is poised to reap the benefits.

Readers should recall Gore testifying before the House Commerce & Energy Committee in April strongly in support of this legislation.

At the time, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn marvelously questioned Gore about his connections to Kleiner Perkins, as well as his financial gain if cap-and-trade was enacted. Although Blackburn was from Gore's home state of Tennessee, media showed little interest in this fiesty exchange.

Of course, that's not at all surprising, for the New York Times on Sunday also reported how Kleiner Perkins and Hara are situated to benefit from such legislation:

If Congress passes legislation that puts a price on carbon emissions, companies will need to track and report the waste from their operations.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, is betting that such a cap-and-trade law or carbon tax will open the door for a new kind of software company.

Since 2007, it has been quietly incubating Hara, a start-up that on Monday will start selling software to help businesses measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is not ‘greenwash.’ It’s dollars to the bottom line,” said John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, which invested $6 million in Hara.

Dollars to the bottom line indeed. Yet, nowhere in the Times piece was Gore's name mentioned as a partner of Kleiner Perkins.

I'm sure that was just an oversight on the part of the author.

Environment Global Warming New York Times Reuters
Noel Sheppard's picture

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