Why Was Liberal Billionaire Tom Steyer So Quiet About His Support For The Green New Deal?


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Chris White Tech Reporter
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  • Analysts say they are not surprised that billionaire Tom Steyer is staying mum on the Green New Deal given the plan’s recent stumbles.
  • Liberal megadonor Steyer is laying low on the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal as Democratic presidential hopefuls line up behind the plan.
  • Steyer appears to be focusing on impeaching President Donald Trump over championing Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.

Billionaire Tom Steyer is keeping a low profile with respect to his support for the Democratic Party’s Green New Deal. It’s an unusual position for one of the environmentalist movement’s biggest advocates.

Steyer has stayed mum on an all-encompassing climate resolution that promises to completely remake the American economy. He’s given faint praise for the GND in a tweet and a few sparse press statements, but the Democratic megadonor is instead focusing on impeaching the president.

The climate resolution, which was rolled out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Feb. 7, calls for “10-year national mobilizations” toward a series of goals aimed at fighting global warming. A separate fact sheet claims the plan would “mobilize every aspect of American society.” Steyer’s relative inaction comes as critics slam the GND’s coming out party.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office provided NPR the GND resolution and its accompanying FAQ document that laid out its goals, namely to “[m]ove America to 100% clean and renewable energy” within 10 years. The FAQ document dump turned into a millstone around Democrat’s proverbial necks.

Among other things, the document claimed that Americans must “upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency,” if they are to rid the country and world of all forms of pollution and greenhouse gases. It also stated that the GND would provide benefits for people “unwilling to work.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s staff was forced to ding the document from the website and clarify the lawmaker’s position. The drama unfolded less than a day after the Feb. 7 rollout of the now-beleaguered deal. Steyer, for his part, issued a tweet on the day of the rollout cheering the New York Democrat’s ambitious play.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to the media about Amazon scrapping its plans to build a new headquarters in Queens, New York, on Capitol Hill February 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to the media about Amazon scrapping its plans to build a new headquarters in Queens, New York, on Capitol Hill February 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“A real solution proposed in Washington? About time!! Let’s make the liars and deniers explain why this doesn’t HAVE to happen,” he told his Twitter followers at the time. Steyer didn’t mention the GND again until several days later when Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts published a statement on his website noting Steyer’s support.

“Our society needs to turn dramatically and immediately towards the shared goals of environmental justice, broad-based prosperity and health. The Green New Deal is that turn,” Steyer said in the Feb. 13 statement. Steyer’s political action group NextGen America has not responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Some critics believe it makes sense why the former hedge fund manager is staying mum. Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told TheDCNF that Steyer’s reticence to leap into the fray is probably a smart tactic given the GDN’s controversy.

“I think I would avoid wide circulation, too,” Horner said, adding “that the same people who couldn’t create a healthcare website apparently can’t even properly post to a website.” He often engages in legal battles against attorneys who sue energy companies over climate change.

Other analysts shared similar sentiments. “He’s calculating. It’s not overly popular,” E&E Legal President Craig Richardson told TheDCNF, referring to the GND, which received waives of support from various Democratic presidential candidates.

“He’s all in on climate program. It’s a trial balloon, so he’s smart enough not to jump into that right away. It’s really not politically expedient to come all the way out for it,” he said of Steyer’s reticence. Richardson’s group is also on the front lines in battles against anti-oil activists.

Steyer is plowing another $6 million into what some Democratic leaders worry is an ill-fated attempt to impeach the president. He decided not to run against President Donald Trump in January, citing concerns about his business dealings and past fossil fuel investments.

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