Unexpected environmental activism coming from the one percent: Billionaire investor Tom Steyer said he is backing a four-part, $1 million advertising campaign aimed at convincing viewers the Keystone XL pipeline will hurt the economy and communities and should be blocked. See his first ad above.
“Foreign countries will get more access to more oil to make more products to sell back to us, undercutting our economy,” Steyer, founder of the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management LLC, says in the advertisement. “Here’s the truth: Keystone oil will travel through America not to America.”
The U.S. State Department is considering the application of TransCanada Corp. (TRP) to build the rest of the pipeline. A decision, which ultimately lies with President Barack Obama, could be made within months. Environmental groups are urging Obama to reject the pipeline, arguing that it will increase production of the oil sands, destroying forests and worsening climate change.
Obama in July said he wouldn’t approve the project if the pipeline exacerbates global warming. He mocked proponents of Keystone in an interview with the New York Times for claiming that it would lead to tens of thousands of new jobs.
Steyer, an Obama donor, said his efforts are aimed at giving the president the political space to reject the pipeline. As the Keystone review faces possible further delay, the prospects for approval dim, according to Steyer.
And the California billionaire isn’t just focused on Keystone. This year he started an independent political effort to elect candidates ready to tackle global warming.
More of this, please. I see a political future here—maybe California governor?