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Steyer’s Transparent Hypocrisy

- May 13, 2014

LIBERAL BILLIONAIRE TOM STEYER IS WAGING AN AGGRESSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGN – BUT DON’T ASK HIM HOW HE MADE HIS BILLIONS

Billionaire Tom Steyer Has Said He Will Spend $100 Million During The 2014 Election, “Seeking To Pressure Federal And State Officials To Enact Climate Change Measures.” “A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.” (Nicholas Confessore, “Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign On Climate Change,” The New York Times, 2/17/14)

  • $100 Million Is “Not A Ceiling” For Steyer. “Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer is laying plans to go big in the 2014 election. The former hedge fund manager is hoping to spend $100 million — $50 million from his personal fortune and $50 million from other donors — to make climate change a top-tier issue in the election, The New York Times is reporting. A person close to Steyer confirmed the $100 million figure to POLITICO but cautioned.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Tom Steyer Planning $100 Million Campaign Push,” Politico, 2/18/14)

Steyer Founded Farallon Capital Management – A Hedge Fund With Investments That Contrast With His Cries Against Climate Change

Tom Steyer Founded Farallon Capital Management In 1986. “He started his own firm in 1986, receiving the initial backing from F. Warren Hellman, a co-founder of the San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, who died last year. Farallon takes its name from a group of islands off the coast of San Francisco.” (Michael J. De La Merced and Peter Lattman, “Farallon Capital’s Founder To Step Down This Year,” The New York Times, 10/22/12)

“Farallon’s Investments Contrast With Steyer’s Aggressive Campaign Against Fossil Fuels In North America.” “Farallon's investments contrast with Steyer's aggressive campaign against fossil fuels in North America, in which he has targeted politicians who support TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the United States and has urged universities to sell off their coal stocks, saying ‘a coal free portfolio is a good investment strategy.’” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

During Steyer’s Tenure, Farallon Helped Finance Coal Projects In Indonesia And Australia Valued At More Than $2 Billion. “During Steyer's tenure, Farallon helped finance coal project acquisitions in Indonesia and Australia valued at more than $2 billion and covering some of the region's biggest mines, some of which swiftly ramped up production afterward, according to a close examination by Reuters of company disclosures and interviews with people involved in the deals.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

  • “People Familiar With Steyer's Management Of Farallon Said That While His Main Focus Was On The United States, He Would Have Signed Off On Those Foreign Deals And, As Co-Managing Partner, Would Have Shared In Their Profits.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)
     
  • “‘The Discretion To Make Or Break Any Investment Rested With Him,’ Said A Farallon Investor, Who Asked Not To Be Named.”  (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

“While Little Noticed, In Indonesia, Farallon Helped Finance The Leveraged Buyout Of Three Coal Companies, Including The Country's No. 2 Coal Miner Adaro Energy In 2005.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

  • “David Price, Senior Coal Analyst At Consultants IHS, Said The Leveraged Buyouts Funded By Farallon Were Important For Raising Indonesia's Coal Production, Which Quadrupled Between 2002 And 2012 And Triggered Worries Among Environmentalists About Pollution And Carbon Emissions.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)
     
  • “Indonesia Is The World's Biggest Coal Exporter, According To The U.S. Department Of Energy.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

“Farallon's Investments In Australia, Meanwhile, Laid The Groundwork For The Fund To Become The Biggest Shareholder Of Whitehaven Coal, Which Is Developing One Of The Country's Biggest Remaining Coal Reserves, Maules Creek.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

Just Before Steyer Left Farallon, The Fund Held $125 Million Worth Of Kinder Morgan Securities, Which Plans To Build An Oil Pipeline In Canada, Along With $220 Million In Shares Of Nexen, A Canadian Oil Sands Producer. “Conservative attacks on Steyer's record have mainly focused on his fund's involvement in U.S. energy companies like Kinder Morgan, which has plans to expand an oil sands pipeline to Canada's West Coast. Just before Steyer left Farallon in 2012, the fund held $125 million worth of Kinder Morgan securities, along with $220 million in shares of Nexen, a Canadian oil sands producer, according to U.S. filings.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

And Steyer Hasn’t Exactly Been “Transparent” About His Involvement In Farallon

In April, Steyer Argued That He Was “Completely Open” And “Transparent” In His Activism.  “But Steyer countered that there are major differences between himself and the Koch brothers, and he argued that his operation is ‘completely open’ and transparent. ‘I think they have not been huge embracers of transparency,’ he said of the Kochs.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Tom Steyer: I’m Not The Koch Brothers,” Politico, 4/22/14)

Steyer No Longer Has An Ownership Position In Farrallon, “But The Firm Still Invests His Money And He’s The Equivalent Of A Limited Partner.” “That October, Steyer officially stepped down from running Farallon. He no longer has an ownership position in the company, but the firm still invests his money and he’s the equivalent of a limited partner.” (Ryan Lizza, “The President And The Pipeline,” The New Yorker, 9/16/13)

  • But Steyer Has “Provided Few Details” Of Farallon’s Fossil Fuel Investments And How He Profited From Them. “Steyer, 56, stepped down as co-managing partner of Farallon in 2012 to devote himself to full-time activism because, as he later wrote, he ‘no longer felt comfortable being at a firm that was invested in every single sector of the global economy, including tar sands and oil.’ But he has provided few details of the extent of those fossil fuel investments or how he profited from them.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)

“After Being Criticized By Some Republicans For Holding Some Investments In The Fossil-Fuel Industry, Including Stock In Kinder Morgan, Which Has Proposed Extending A Rival Pipeline To Keystone, Steyer Said That He Would Fully Divest His Portfolio Of Its ‘Dirty Energy’ Holdings Within A Year.” (Ryan Lizza, “The President And The Pipeline,” The New Yorker, 9/16/13)

  • “He Said In July 2013 That When He Had Left Farallon, Which Manages Much Of His Estimated $1.6 Billion Wealth, He Had Instructed The Fund To Divest His Holdings In Fossil Fuels.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14)
     
  • In A July 2013 Letter To Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Steyer Promised To Divest  Any Holdings In “Either Tar Sands Or Coal, Including Farallon’s Investment In Kinder Morgan.” (Tom Steyer, Letter To Senator David Vitter, 7/8/13)
     
  • “Neither He Nor Farallon Has Said Whether That Process Has Been Completed. Farallon Declined To Comment. A Spokesman For Steyer Declined To Comment For This Article.” (Richard Valdamanis, Fergus Jensen and Sonali Paul, “From Black To Green: U.S. Billionaire’s ‘Road To Damascus,” Reuters, 5/13/14) 

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