Hacked emails show the extent to which billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer coordinated with the Obama administration to form energy policy and to divide Republicans on environmental issues.
Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, a Steyer aide, emailed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton advisor John Podesta in 2014 ironing out a strategy for a White House climate policy plan that would simultaneously hurt the GOP during the elections and make gains attacking man-made global warming.
Steyer was also touting the plan, according to Lehane.
“TS may have sent you this doc last night — but believe he may have sent a slightly earlier draft so please use this one,” reads an email illegally obtained by WikiLeaks. “We hope this is helpful and stand ready to support whatever you may need.”
The memo indicates Podesta had talked previously with Lehane about a document Steyer’s top lieutenant had attached in the email.
“Thank you for asking us to share some ideas for a holistic approach to climate,” the Lehane’s memo states. “Per your direction, the goal is to unify policy, politics, and communications to help the Administration best execute an informed plan over a multi-year time period.”
More than 4,000 emails have been leaked. The Podesta-Lehane memo is part of the fifth set of emails exposed by WikiLeaks in two months.
The former chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton condemned the hacked emails on Monday, and suggested they were not authentic and said he doesn’t know where the emails are coming from.
The current chair of Center for American Progress, an ultra liberal think tank based in Washington, D.C., also helped then-president elect Barack Obama in 2008 choose members of his cabinet, favored Steyer to serve as secretary of energy.
Steyer, who made his billions as a hedge fund manager at investment firm Farallon Capital, has become somewhat of a household name in Democratic circles. He has donated tends of billions of dollars to liberal and environmental causes for several years.
The Lehane-Podesta email also shows that Lehane and Steyer carefully crafted their policy ideas in a paint-by-numbers way as to make them easy to transfer into policy directives.
The attached document is “written so as one could just cut and paste and lift out,” allowing the White House to easily create a directive reflecting its contents, according to the emails.
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.
The Energy and Environment Legal Institute published a report in July that uncovered emails showing a NextGen report titled, “Fact Sheet: Powering America With More Than 50 Percent Clean Energy by 2030,” essentially mirroring the Democratic National Committee’s exact position on climate change.
The DNC “adopted the Steyer agenda word for word,” the group’s report states.
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