It turns out liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s environmental super PAC was totally involved in promoting investigations into ExxonMobil and global warming skeptics by state attorneys general.
“It’s not something that Tom personally is pushing, though some of our teams on the ground have participated in rallies or events to support our coalition partners,” a spokeswoman for NextGen Climate Action told Politico.
NextGen, Steyer’s super PAC, admitted to backing investigations by New York AG Eric Schneiderman into Exxon over its stance on global warming. The admission came just one day after Steyer told Politico “[w]e’re definitely not pushing this thing.”
“We are not part of this effort,” Steyer said.
Well, that turned out not to be exactly true. The Washington Free Beacon did some digging and found NextGen “has repeatedly promoted the effort and attempted to enlist federal and state officials in efforts to bring charges against Exxon.”
Schneiderman began investigating Exxon in November to see if the company was misrepresenting to shareholders the impacts global warming and climate regulations could have on its operations.
Three other AGs have also opened investigations in Exxon’s global warming activities, which have also ensnared dozens of conservative think tanks, scientists and others skeptical of man-made global warming.
Environmentalists have been working behind the scenes for years to get prosecutors to go after oil companies for funding skeptics, and NextGen jumped on the bandwagon this year.
“NextGen’s New Hampshire arm held a rally in April explicitly billed as an effort to advance Schneiderman’s anti-Exxon legal campaign,” the Free Beacon reported, adding NextGen also “targeted Sen. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire” and asked her to “to push for Senate investigation into #ExxonKnew.”
NextGen also pushed Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman to act on a petition to “break with the extreme elements in his party and support a federal investigation into Exxon’s coverup of the science behind climate change,” according to the Free Beacon.
Schneiderman even reached out to Steyer for support for his anti-Exxon efforts, according to The New York Post. Steyer spent $73 million in the 2014 election cycle trying to get Democrats elected.
Steyer has already spent millions this election opposing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and trying to get liberal voters to show up to the polls on election day.
He recently told Politico he would be putting another $15 million into a super PAC he co-founded with the AFL-CIO this year. So far, he’s pledged $20 million to this effort.
“The measure of this will not be the dollars, the measure will be the impact, whether we change people’s thinking, people’s engagement and people’s participation,” Steyer told Politico.
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