Quantcast

The Billionaire Against Big Oil

Climate

Oil Change International

By Andy Rowell

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire and founder of one of the largest hedge funds, argues that the Keystone XL has become the defining issue in the climate change fight of our times.

Environmentalists are used to having to fight an opposition with deep pockets.

And Big Oil normally has deeper pockets than most. Moreover the Canadian and Albertan governments have also spent millions of dollars on the pro-tar sands message and fight.

The latest cash to be splashed by the Albertans resulted in an advertisement in The New York Times on Sunday under the headline “Keystone XL: The Choice of Reason.”

The trouble for the Canadians is that they have long believed their own propaganda, arguing that everyone against the pipeline is wrong and somehow they are right, somehow against all the science, the facts and the odds, they are the voice of reason.

They have tried to win the pro-tar sands argument by repeatedly bullying both Europe and America. The latest broadside was from Albertan Premier Alison Redford who has warned that rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline by the Obama administration would undermine the economic relationship between the two countries.

But as the White House dithers over Keystone XL, the Canadians now face a new and very deep-pocketed foe: Tom Steyer, a California billionaire and founder of one of the largest hedge funds, Farallon Capitol. He retired in October last year to turn to full time activism.

Steyer argues that Keystone XL “has become the defining issue in the climate change fight of our times,” says his spokesperson, Chris Lehane.

Steyer has controversially waded into the Democratic race in Massachusetts, where the race is on to choose a new candidate to replace John Kerry, with Steyer attempting to undermine the pro-Keystone candidate, Stephen Lynch.

Massachusetts “is the next front where the Keystone fight will be engaged,” argues Lehane, adding that Steyer “plays to win. Obviously since the evil empire, i.e. Big Oil, is on the other side, he’s willing to invest [funds].”

In a letter sent to Lynch by Steyer on behalf of four environmental activists, it says: ‘‘Saying you’re for solving climate change while supporting Keystone is like claiming to be a Red Sox fan—except when they play the Yankees.’’

Steyer has warned Lynch to “act like a real Democrat and oppose Keystone’s dirty energy. Or, get a sworn, binding statement—with securities law enforcement—from TransCanada and the refiners that all of the Keystone-shipped oil will stay [in the U.S.].”

“If you can’t or won’t do either, then you’ll be showing us that you stand with Republicans and a wealthy foreign oil company and against solving the climate crisis,” the letter argues.

Of course Lynch cannot do this, as Oil Change International has repeatedly shown the Keystone XL is essentially an export pipeline.

If Lynch does not drop his support for Keystone XL, Steyer will spend loads of money backing his opponent who is already the front runner, congressman Edward Markey, who is against the Keystone XL.

Markey is already being backed by 350 Action, the political arm of 350.org and League of Conservation Voters.

Steyer’s ultimatum expires at “high noon” on Friday.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.

——–

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Record flood water levels in Venice hit again on Sunday making this the worst week of flooding in the city in over 50 years.

Read More Show Less

By Brian Barth

Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Austin Nuñez is Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which joined with the Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribes to fight a proposed open-pit copper mine on sacred sites in Arizona. Mamta Popat

By Alison Cagle

Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Navajo Nation has suffered from limited freshwater resources as a result of climate, insufficient infrastructure, and contamination. They collaborated with NASA to develop the Drought Severity Evaluation Tool. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.

Read More Show Less
Wild Exmoor ponies graze on a meadow in the Czech Republic. rapier / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Nanticha Ocharoenchai

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

Read More Show Less

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less