Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is using his vast wealth to purchase the Democratic Party’s platform on climate change, as well as overturn constitutional checks on power, according to a report from an environmental legal group.
The Energy and Environment Legal Institute published a report Monday showing Steyer is using tens of millions of dollars in donations to environmental groups, candidates and political parties in an effort to make the U.S. coal-free.
Steyer, who amassed the bulk of his wealth as a hedge fund manager, has transitioned from taking out millions in advertisements, which he tried in to 2014 with little success, to shoveling millions in donations to political candidates in an effort to cajole them into doing his bidding. His donations are contingent on the candidates accepting his global warming agenda, according to the report.
Steyer donated millions during the 2014 elections in an effort to stymie Republicans and conservatives in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire statewide elections. Democrats were able to hold on to Senate seats in New Hampshire and Michigan, but Republicans took Colorado and Iowa.
Steyer and his political action group, NextGen Climate Action, spent about $20.7 million in independent expenditures in 2014, mostly opposing Republican candidates. He has spent more than $13 million so far this election year, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Steyer funded the Democratic National Committee, according to E&E Legal’s report, and the purchase of the Democratic National Committee’s 2016 campaign platform on climate change and renewable energy. The DNC, the report states, “adopted the Steyer agenda word for word.”
E&E Legal also uncovered emails showing a NextGen report titled, “Fact Sheet: Powering America With More Than 50 Percent Clean Energy by 2030,” which essentially mirrors the DNC’s position on climate change.
Below is a chart showing the striking similarities between NextGen’s report and the DNC platform.
Steyer is also acting in cahoots with the Democratic Governors Association to cobble together governors to join the fight to hold “climate denier” groups “accountable” through criminal prosecutions under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statutes, the E&E Legal’s report notes.
The group added: “By combining this initiative with his massive federal campaign donations, Steyer is simultaneously advancing his climate change agenda at both the state and federal levels in an attempt to silence those who argue that investing in solar power is a bad idea.”
Ethics groups have criticized the effort to investigate so-called climate deniers and oil producers on RICO statutes, claiming such inquisitions are tantamount to an attack on the First Amendment.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed the Freedom of Information Act request in hopes of unearthing details of the activities of the Attorneys General United for Clean Power Coalition, which was formed exclusively for the purposes of conducting an inquisition against global warming skeptics.
“Our legal system was not designed to be used as a tool to persecute, intimidate and silence individuals and groups just because they hold certain viewpoints,” Matthew Whitaker, executive director of FACT, said in a Thursday press statement. “This unlawful effort is a blatant, Orwellian attack on the First Amendment’s right to free speech and we are going to expose their unconstitutional and unethical actions.”
Steyer put nearly $7 million into his own super PAC, bringing his donation total to the group up to $18 million, according to an Associated Press report July 21.
Steyer’s money accounts for nearly 100 percent of NextGen’s entire political war chest, a number totaling more than $7,000,620. He has given the group $7,000,000, meaning that all of the points in E&E Legal’s report should be ascribed to Steyer, not NextGen.
The California-based billionaire is also determined on using his wealth to create an army of college climate justice warriors. Steyer announced a $25 million campaign in April to encourage young people to support and vote for green energy candidates in the November 2016 election.
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