Tom Steyer Preaches to the Masses from his High Horse

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer once again reminded us just how elitist and out-of-touch he really is at a conference hosted by the American Renewable Energy Institute in Aspen, CO today. Espousing the need to reach everyday people with his climate message, he noted that “super-sophisticated people” already recognize and have taken action to address the issue and implied that the “99.5 percent of the people whose lives are very busy and complicated and pressing” apparently lack the sophistication to understand climate change at all.


“Since when do we live in a country where only the self-professed ‘super-sophisticated people’ get to make decisions for everyone else? Tom Steyer has spent millions bankrolling candidates and organizations whose efforts are leaving hard-working Americans without work, without economic security and without hope for the future. And, today, he demonstrated once again how totally out-of-touch he is with the priorities of the ‘broad audience’ of Americans he so offensively characterized in Aspen today,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president for communications at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). “Perhaps people aren’t as simple-minded as Mr. Steyer thinks, because they certainly aren’t buying what he and his elitist friends are selling. What Mr. Steyer fails to understand is that the American people are, in fact, thinking about what immediately impacts their lives and families because ‘super-sophisticated people’ like himself and President Obama are not.”


Steyer remains personally invested in fossil fuels, despite his own pledge—and widespread campaign to encourage others—to divest. He earned much of his fortune by investing in fossil fuels, yet he now bankrolls many organizations and political efforts supporting elected officials who have vowed to fight climate change at any cost, including at the expense of hard-working Americans.


Like many environmentalists, Mr. Steyer has advocated for regulating coal-based electricity out of existence, rather than working with the industry to bring about more advanced clean coal technologies. Today, American coal-fueled electricity is cleaner and more efficient than ever before.


“Unlike Mr. Steyer, the coal-based power industry puts its money where its mouth is and to date has invested nearly $120 billion to reduce emissions by 90 percent and is putting in an additional $27 billion between now and 2016,” Sheehan said.