Stop Taking Environmental Hypocrites Seriously


Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire turned environmental nut job, just launched a multi-million dollar attack-ad blitz that takes political dishonesty to a whole new level.

Mr. Steyer accuses Iowa Senator Joni Ernst of pushing American jobs overseas. In reality, all Ms. Ernst did was pledge to oppose tax hikes. Watchdog group Politifact judged the ad to be “false.”

The ad campaign isn’t just deceptive; it’s hypocritical. As a self-described “professional pain in the ass,” Mr. Steyer bragged he’d spend $100 million this election cycle to defeat candidates who don’t buy into his climate-change hysteria. But while managing his hedge fund Farallon Capital, Mr. Steyer made a killing off of the same fossil fuel industry he now smears as greedy and sinister.

Mr. Steyer isn’t the first green crusader to owe his wealth to fossil fuels. Given the stakes of our nation’s energy debate, Americans should stop taking these environmentalist hypocrites seriously.

Any list of “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” environmentalists needs to put former Vice President Al Gore at the top. With his global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, the former Veep established himself an expert on carbon footprints – and his is massive.

In 2007, Mr. Gore’s Nashville mansion devoured more than 220,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year -more than 20 times the national average. During the same year he was touting An Inconvenient Truth, a film demanding that Americans reduce their energy consumption, Mr. Gore’s combined electricity and natural gas bills totaled just under $30,000.

Public pressure eventually forced Mr. Gore to give his Tennessee home a green-friendly overhaul. But he continues to fly in private jets, even though the resulting carbon footprint can be over 100 times greater than flying commercial.

Another elder statesman of enviro-hypocrisy is Robert Redford. The actor urged Americans to embrace “green buildings that use less energy.” But when an environmentally-friendly housing development was planned too close to his Napa Valley winery, the actor quashed the project.

George Soros is a mega-donor for environmental groups like the Alliance for Climate Protection and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Both groups staunchly oppose fracking, a technology that uses pressurized water and sand to capture oil and natural gas deposits trapped deep underground.

Yet his support for abolishing the drilling technique didn’t stop him from buying a $234 million stake in CONSOL Energy, an avid practitioner of fracking.

Despite the silliness of environmentalist hypocrites, the economic and security benefits of domestic oil and gas production are hard to deny.

Thanks to advances in fracking technology, natural gas now sells for a third of what it did in 2008. As a consequence, Americans are saving hundreds of dollars on their heating and electric bills annually.

Fracking is also propelling domestic oil production to its highest levels ever. In fact, the International Energy Agency recently announced that the United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer. With the unrest in the Middle East and Ukraine, our energy boom couldn’t have come at a better time.

Despite so much good news, naysayers like Tom Steyer, Al Gore, Robert Redford and George Soros are doing their best to condemn the fossil fuel industry. But until they start taking their own advice, there’s no reason for anyone else to.

Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to a smaller, more responsible government.

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