Tom Steyer is trying to pull a fast one on Americans.
The billionaire hedge fund manager and bank mogul is spending millions of dollars in an attempt to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Two reasons: Money and power.
Steyer knows the facts. The pipeline would slash energy costs for Americans, facilitate the growth of oil production in the U.S. by increasing access to refineries, generate millions in state and local tax revenues, and reduce the amount of oil America imports from unstable and unfriendly nations by 40 percent. Furthermore, five years of intensive regulatory review by federal and state government has shown Keystone to be an environmentally sound project.
Still, Steyer continues to fund a campaign of lies and hysterical propaganda in hopes of killing Keystone.
Steyer’s latest whopper, which comes in an interminable 90-second ad that he funded and stars in, is that Keystone will create only 35 permanent jobs. The assertion that a pipeline that will revolutionize energy production in America would create the same number of jobs as a single Dunkin’ Donuts is embarrassing and absurd. The State Department estimates Keystone will generate 42,100 direct and indirect jobs during a two-year construction phase. Thousands of new jobs will subsequently be created to produce and refine petroleum after completion of the pipeline.
By distorting the truth about Keystone’s job creation, economic benefits and environmental concerns, Steyer stands to benefit handsomely.
Most of Steyer’s $1.4 billion fortune came through investments in fossil fuels. In fact, Steyer’s biggest cash cow is Farallon Capital Management. Farallon has stakes in a number of oil, gas and pipeline companies, including a large investment in Kinder Morgan, an oil and gas pipeline outfit that plans to expand its own TransMountain pipeline to transport oil from Alberta to refineries and shipping terminals in the U.S. and Canada.
While this year alone Steyer poured $1.8 million into a super PAC supporting anti-Keystone candidates and burned through another $1 million creating an advertising campaign attacking Keystone, he has refused to criticize the TransMountain pipeline – even though TransMountain pipeline is functionally identical to Keystone. That’s because if he succeeds in killing Keystone, TransMountain will be “the only game in town for transporting oil directly from the oil sands to export terminals, up to 900,000 barrels a day,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.
In other words, Steyer will be sitting on a North American pipeline monopoly if Keystone is out of the picture.
Of course, Steyer is working hard to make his disgusting money grab look like genuine concern for the environment – and, even then, he stands to make millions.
Steyer’s anti-Keystone ads are rooted in unreasonable climate change hysteria. But fortunately he just happens to have a cure for climate change: Greener Capital, a venture capital firm Steyer funded with $15 million from his own pocket. Greener Capital profits from green energy handouts and tax credits – the same handouts and tax credits enacted by the progressive lawmakers who happily snatch up Steyer’s hefty campaign contributions.
Many people are beginning to tire of Steyer’s sleazy tactics. An ad produced by Steyer’s Pac, NextGen Climate Action, attacking the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was so inaccurate and misguided that Washington, D.C’s. NBC affiliate banned the spot from its airwaves.
Days after the ad was banned, Steyer launched a Twitter account and took his pathetic smear campaign to social media. Besides Tweeting climate change hysteria, questionable science and hollow claims, he bragged that “35,000 emails have been sent to the Senate calling on them to stop Keystone.” That (unverified and possibly bogus) number amounts to an email from one in every 9,000 Americans. Compare that paltry figure with the Pew Research Center’s finding last month that 65 percent of Americans favor the construction of Keystone.
There is no question that by creating thousands of jobs, ushering a new era of American energy independence and offering a lower cost, environmentally responsible source for oil theKeystone XL pipeline would greatly benefit Americans – and there’s nothing that Tom Steyer’s money and lies can do to change that.
Now it is just a matter of whether the Obama Administration will allow the financial interest of one person to supersede what is best for the whole country.
Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to a smaller, more responsible government.