On the environment, do as they say, not as they do

Drew Johnson

Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire-turned-environmentalist, just launched a multi-million dollar attack-ad blitz that takes political dishonesty to a whole new level. Not that honesty has ever been Steyer’s strong suit.

While managing his hedge fund Farallon Capital, Steyer made a killing off the same fossil fuel industry he is now smearing as greedy and sinister.

Steyer isn’t the first green crusader to secretly owe his wealth or way of life to fossil fuels. And 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 as an expert on carbon footprints. And his is massive.

In 2007, using public records, I was able to determine that Gore’s Nashville mansion devoured more than 220,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, more than 20 times the national average. In some months, his electric bills topped $2,400. During the same year he was touting “An Inconvenient Truth,” a film demanding that Americans reduce their energy consumption, Gore’s combined electricity and natural gas bills totaled just under $30,000.

Public pressure eventually forced Gore to give his Tennessee home a green-friendly overhaul. But since slapping solar panels on his roof, Gore purchased additional properties and he continues to fly in private jets, even though the resulting carbon footprint can be more than 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.

Redford also demands America “kick the oil habit,” despite having served as a paid spokesman for the world’s second largest airline. No conflict there.

Despite the silliness spewing from the mouths 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 announced that the United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer. With unrest in the Middle East and Ukraine, our energy boom couldn’t have come at a better time.

Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.