Cap-And-Trade: Al Gore's Cash Cow
When Gore left office in January 2001, he was said to have a net worth in the neighborhood of $2 million. A mere eight years later, estimates are that he is now worth about $100 million. It seems it's easy being green, at least for some.
Gore has his lectures and speeches, his books, a hit movie and Oscar, and a Nobel Prize. But Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., was curious about how a man dedicated to saving the planet could get so wealthy so quickly. She sought out investment advice we all could use in a shaky economy.
Last May, we noted that Big Al had joined the venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers the previous September. On May 1, 2008, the firm announced a $500 million investment in maturing green technology firms called the Green Growth Fund.
Last Friday, Gore was the star witness at the hearings on cap-and- trade legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Blackburn asked Gore about Kleiner-Perkins, noting that at last count they "have invested about a billion dollars invested in 40 companies that are going to benefit from cap-and-trade legislation that we are discussing here today."
Blackburn then asked the $100 million question: "Is that something that you are going to personally benefit from?" Gore gave the stock answer that "the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it but every penny that I have made I have put right into a nonprofit, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to spread awareness of why we have to take on this challenge."
Last May, we also noted that on March 1, Gore, while speaking at a conference in Monterey, Calif., admitted to having "a stake" in a number of green investments that he recommended attendees put money in rather than "subprime carbon assets" such as tar sands and shale oil.
He also is co-founder of Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offsets that allow rich polluters to continue with a clear conscience. It's a scheme that will make traders of this new commodity rich and Bernie Madoff look like a pickpocket. The other founder is former Goldman Sachs partner David Blood.
As Stephen Milloy, author of "Green Hell," points out, Goldman Sachs is lobbying for climate change legislation and is part owner of the Chicago Climate Exchange, where carbon credits from cap and trade would be traded.
Others hope to cash in along with Gore. On Earth Day 2007, the various NBC networks gave 75 hours of free air time to Gore to hype climate change. NBC is owned by General Electric, perhaps the largest maker of wind turbines and other green technology in the world. It, too, stands to benefit financially from cap and trade, as Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly has noted, connecting dots others won't.
Gore's altruism is phony. According to a March 6 Bloomberg report, Gore invested $35 million of his own money not in green nonprofits, but with the very profitable Capricorn Investment Group LLC, a Palo Alto, Calif., firm that directs clients to green investments and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products.
As reported on Green Hell Blog, Capricorn was founded by the billionaire former president of eBay Inc., Jeffrey Skoll, who also happens to be an executive producer of Gore's Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."
Gore has not taken a vow of poverty even as he advocates legislation that will push millions into it. He has said greed and corporate profits are behind the studies disproving his alarmism. Maybe it's his desire for profits that's behind his manipulation of the truth.