Finance Reports Reveal Tom Steyer Completely Bankrolled A Clean Energy Campaign In Arizona

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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The latest campaign finance reports reveal one glaring detail about a clean energy campaign in Arizona: Tom Steyer has funded its entire operation.

Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona — a group that is campaigning to amend Arizona’s constitution and require 50 percent of the state’s electricity originate from renewable energy sources — has been given about $4.45 million from NextGen Climate Action, a liberal super PAC founded and funded by Steyer.

Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist, used his super PAC to funnel nearly $1 million to this renewable energy campaign at the beginning of 2018. Steyer has apparently been much more generous since then. Second quarter finance reports reveal NextGen gave another $3.5 million in the last three months. Steyer’s group is the only major contributor to the initiative — by a landslide. NextGen has provided 99.99 percent of total contributions given to Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona.

Less than 50 people personally donated to the clean energy campaign during the second quarter, and not everyone was from Arizona. Out-of-state contributors were from a number of different places across the country: Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Virginia and New York. The largest individual contribution during the second quarter was $25.

“This ballot initiative is a massive fraud – bankrolled by a California billionaire, orchestrated by his California political strategists and intended to fool Arizona voters into adopting California’s costly energy regulations as our own,” Matthew Benson, spokesman with Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, said in a statement obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Benson was making a reference to California’s renewable energy target, which is also 50 percent by 2030.

Arizonans for Affordable Electricity is a rival campaign that opposes the ballot initiative. The group contends the proposal being pushed by Steyer would dramatically raise electricity costs for people in the state.

“All of Tom Steyer’s money can’t hide the thousands of Arizona jobs that will be lost if this initiative is approved and locked into our Constitution, nor the higher electricity bills that will hurt Arizona families and small businesses,” Benson continued.

Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona must have a certain amount of valid signatures in support of the initiative to get their proposal on the November ballot. The group submitted 480,464 signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office on July 5. The number was more than twice what was required, however, recent investigations indicate many signatures are illegitimate, with numerous examples of forgery and fake names. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office is currently reviewing the signatures to determine if enough are valid. (RELATED: Tom Steyer’s Green Energy Campaign Fraught With Mishaps And Errors)

If Steyer’s group is successful, Arizona’s energy sector would be radically changed in order to adhere to the mandate. A new mandate of 50 percent renewables by 2030 is a dramatic increase from its current target of 15 percent by 2025.

study from the Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University indicates the mandate would result in thousands of job losses, and another study by NERA Economic Consulting determined that it would make no discernible difference in air quality or public health.

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