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Liberal Billionaire Pledges $100 Million to Bully U.S. on Global Warming

Dark money billionaire pushes climate alarmism with attack ads.

Liberals absolutely love complaining about so-called dark money, until a climate alarmist starts waving around his millions. Make that $100 million.

Billionaire and former fossil fuel investor Tom Steyer recently announced plans to use his organization, Next Generation Climate Action, to inject millions of dollars into the 2014 election. Steyer, No. 1,031 on Forbes magazine’s billionaire’s list, has previously funded Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign and run questionable ads slamming the proposed Keystone pipeline.

The New York Times reported on Feb. 18 that Steyer intends to “pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads.”

Steyer called together dozens of rich liberals and environmentalists earlier this month, in an attempt to raise $50 million to push climate alarmism, according to the Times. He also pledged to match this goal with $50 million of his own. His campaign might top $100 million, however, as Steyer suggested that “would be a really cheap price.”

Steyer has focused heavily on opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. The DailyCaller reported in October 2013, that Steyer had donated $1.8 million to a super PAC promoting anti-Keystone political candidates in 2013, in addition to a $1 million ad campaign against the pipeline.

This Keystone advertising campaign was the target of widespread controversy, alleging that it misrepresented facts. The Washington Post criticized the ad in January 2014, which alleged that China was secretly behind the pipeline, as “especially disturbing, even by the standards of attack ads.” In fact, even NBC rejected this ad as inaccurate, with its Washington, D.C. affiliate banning it.

Steyer also previously funded Terry McAuliffe’s run for Virginia governor, spending $11 million on that race alone. Politico reported in November 2013 that Steyer actually spent more money on this race, per voter, than the much vilified Sheldon Adelson spent on the 2012 presidential campaigns. His donations included spending on television ads, campaign mail and even a Ken Cuccinelli impersonator.

Despite liberal outrage over conservative donors, some of those same critics praise Steyer. Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the outspoken climate alarmist, said in April 2013 that “I’m not happy about big money playing such an important role… But I want to see a pushback, and we can’t unilaterally disarm. I’m glad someone like Tom is willing to spend.”

NextGen Climate Action, based in San Francisco, states its mission as combating “the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans.” Specifically, it highlights the “risk of dangerous climate change,” but are also dedicated to “the threat of diminished prospects for children and families.” Its website’s “Children & Families Program” simply pushes liberal causes, such as the farm bill and welfare programs.

Despite NextGen’s focus on combating climate change, it apparently has put less effort into studying the hypothesis. The organization’s website lists no climate scientists, or scientists of any kind, on its staff.

Ironically, Steyer made much of his $1.5 billion fortune investing in oil and pipeline projects with Farallon Capital Management. Farallon has major stakes in Kinder Morgan, an energy transmission company which “would be a top beneficiary of a Keystone XL rejection,” according to the Financial Post. Steyer has declared that he was in the process of shifting investments away from Kinder Morgan by the end of 2013.

Steyer has been repeatedly described as a liberal counterpoint to the conservative Koch Brothers. Businessweek referred to him as “a liberal analogue of the conservative Koch Brothers” in April 2013, and in March 2011. the Times called him “the anti-Koch”. Of course, liberals already have a major donor, George Soros. As the Media Research Center reported in 2011, Soros gave $550 million to liberal causes between 2000 and 2009 alone, in addition to spending more than $400 million on colleges and universities.

This isn’t the first time the left has committed to creating a major propaganda push about global warming. According to ABC News “Former Vice President Al Gore launched a three-year, multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign” in 2008 to push for limits on greenhouse gas emissions. The plan for the $300-million project was to “combine advertising, online organizing and partnerships with grass-roots groups to educate the public about global warming and urge solutions from elected officials,” wrote ABC.

— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.