US Billionaire Tom Steyer to candidates: Back 50% renewables by 2030, if you want my financial support


US billionaire Tom Steyer, who made large amounts of money from coal, before going “green”, has demanded that political candidates who want his financial help must support a renewable target of 50% by 2030.

According to the Wall Street Journal;

Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate-change activist, laid out a litmus test for 2016 candidates Friday, calling on them to develop aggressive clean-energy plans.

Mr. Steyer set a high bar for candidates and elected officials seeking his support, asking for concrete plans to increase the share of clean energy in the United States’ power generation mix to 50% by 2030.

“Reaching this goal would more than triple renewable energy in our country – putting us on the pathway to a 100% clean-energy economy by 2050 and millions of new jobs,” Mr. Steyer wrote in a blog post.

The goal set by Mr. Steyer and his advocacy group, NextGen Climate, is more ambitious than President Barack Obama’s pledge to achieve 20% renewable energy other than hydropower by 2030. Mr. Steyer called his newly announced target “a minimum starting point” for candidates who are committed to a clean-energy economy.

Read more:

My thought – where is the outrage? Why do voters put up with this absurdly specific chequebook politics? If candidates win an election, thanks to Steyer’s financial backing, whose interests will they really represent – will they represent the interests of the people who voted for them, or will their first loyalty be to Steyer?

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July 25, 2015 12:35 pm

Not sure “the people” are ever any politician’s first concern…

Reply to  AndyZ
July 25, 2015 1:01 pm

Yep, as someone remarked to me yesterday “Teach your kids how government works by taking all their candy from them and telling them to f**k off”.

Reply to  philincalifornia
July 26, 2015 8:06 am

Good idea. However, I would add that the children should be first made to work for the candies, then take all their candies and give them to someone who has done nothing to earn anything.

Reply to  philincalifornia
July 26, 2015 3:29 pm

All too often, government is about bossing people around and taking their stuff, always with “good intentions” in mind, of course.
Here is a quote from Daniel Webster from around 1840:
“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
Daniel Webster US diplomat, lawyer, orator, & politician (1782 – 1852) 

Mike McMillan
Reply to  AndyZ
July 25, 2015 10:09 pm

Steyer seems to think that politicians can be bought (imagine that). However, his offer means that HE can be bought, and he’s even quoted his price.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 26, 2015 12:58 pm

The investors that went hard into renewable energies over the past 10 years have been destroyed. There’s very little new money in the private sector that wants anything to do with renewables. I think Tom Steyer is realizing this and is getting desperate. I think this claim represents a type of hail mary shot that he’s taking.
50% by 2030 is so ridiculous that he’s not going to get any republican candidates to think his money is worth it. But, yes, he is definitely offering a bribe to politicians in exchange for helping his investment portfolio.

george e. smith
Reply to  Mike McMillan
July 27, 2015 4:04 pm

I didn’t know that prostitution had been legalized.
Must be an added benefit of Obamacare.

Bloke down the pub
July 25, 2015 12:39 pm

50% renewables by 2030, 100% screwed up economy.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
July 25, 2015 12:57 pm

Maybe not – it depends on how they define renewables. Politicians have the scientific understanding of a carrot. The question is who will properly educate them.

Mark fro the Midwest
Reply to  John
July 25, 2015 1:30 pm

I’m sure that there’s a definition of “renewable” that can include the process that leads to the formation of coal and oil deposits

george e. smith
Reply to  John
July 27, 2015 4:05 pm

Coal is renewable.
Natural gas powered bird evaporators is not.

Rob Morrow
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
July 27, 2015 1:00 pm

“Reaching this goal would more than triple renewable energy in our country – putting us on the pathway to a 100% clean-energy economy by 2050 and MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS”
Those millions of jobs aren’t necessary in today’s economy, or they would already exist. What he’s really saying is “millions of unnecessary new make-work jobs, billed to the taxpayer”.

george e. smith
Reply to  Rob Morrow
July 27, 2015 4:12 pm

Exactly; Higher energy efficiency and productivity leads to fewer jobs; but generally better paying jobs.
Of course there already is a surfeit of USA university PhD Physics graduates; who made the mistake of being the only person on the planet, who is interested in the subject matter on which they did their thesis.
They are the world’s leading authority on things that nobody else is willing to pay them money to do.
So 65% of them become post doc fellows at mostly taxpayer funded institutions; and Climate is their favorite pastime, since it takes 30 years to find out that your climate study work was rubbish, and then it is time to retire on a taxpayer funded pension.

Chris y
July 25, 2015 12:46 pm

I assume by clean energy he is referring to carbon dioxide emissions.
A candidate could run on the platform of tripling the nuclear power fleet by 2030. Together with existing hydro and wind, no new solar, wind, geothermal or bio would be needed to meet a 50% clean energy based on annual delivered energy to the power grid.
I hope someone proposes this to Steyer.

Reply to  Chris y
July 25, 2015 1:52 pm

why not have somebody lay out a fifteen year program to replace coal fired with nuclear and hydro, natural gas where economically justified, and a target of all private and public transportation to be electrical. A regular Manhattan Project of Energy infrastructure development and distribution that actually ends the whole debate over how much CO2 is being delivered to the atmosphere.

george e. smith
Reply to  fossilsage
July 27, 2015 4:17 pm

Hydro-electric is pretty much tapped out anywhere it is available and not totally environmentally destructive.
The free market capitalism is the best way to ferret out the most efficient winning strategies.
No need for any focus groups to study the problems.

Reply to  Chris y
July 25, 2015 1:55 pm

Why would anyone with a shred of decency back or be backed by a blackmailer? The USA is shot to pieces if this blatant bribery is allowed to flourish without any form of retribution.. Looks like MuskMoney aka ‘subsidies and handouts’ will be the biggest thing facing the electors – pity the US economy!
Asia is laughing itself all the way to the bank…

Reply to  Chris y
July 25, 2015 3:51 pm

Excellent approach and in fact, the only approach that can work. Modern Generation III and state of the art Generation IV nuclear fission reactor technology must be deemed clean and pollution free and qualified as a substitute for RES energy sources. At the same time a “Manhattan Project” like or Apollo space program like program to demonstrate nuclear fusion within a decade and commercialization within the following decade must be launched. (ITER in France, as managed by the IAEA and participated in by 7 member countries including the United States as a 9% minority partner, is a fusion never bridge to nowhere.) Fission is here today and totally practical and cost effective but long term radioactive waste is a real issue. In the future fusion/fission hybrid approaches can be used as a means of radioactive waste remediation which by the way is a huge cash flow producing business opportunity..

Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 25, 2015 4:26 pm

The nuclear waste problem can be solved with existing technology, the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR). We developed it, the Chinese are on a crash program to get it on board, and existing nuclear waste will be consumed in the process. LFTR is as renewable as it gets.

Reply to  majormike1
July 25, 2015 5:08 pm

majormike1, The Thorium community is fond of saying that Thorium has a less aggressive radioactive waste series. However, the actinide decay chain is similar to uranium and is, in fact, complicated by heavy gamma ray radiation. Furthermore, Thorium is a fertile material not a fissile material which means it must operate in a fuel cycle in conjunction with Uranium. The thorium community will also say that Thorium cannot be used in weapons programs. However uranium 233 can be breed from Thorium which in turn can be weaponized. Thorium is no fission utopia. Fission is fission. It is a bridge now to the future but it must be replaced by fusion sooner than later. Dr. Edward Teller and Ralph Moir wrote a definitive paper on the potential use of Thorium in Molten Salts Reactors in 2004. A PDF is available at: To learn more about the facts regarding Thorium see:

Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 25, 2015 4:41 pm

majormike1, can you explain to me how the nuclear waste fission product, oh, say cesium 137 is “consumed?”

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 26, 2015 12:47 am

Thorium is not ideal, but if used with molten salt coolant it is substantially safer than PWRs because it eliminates the two main accident risk factors – zirconium fuel cladding fires and pressurised coolant explosions.
The important thing is to set our sights on what is feasible with the technology which we have available. The problem the renewables guys seem to have is that they lack the concept of feasibility, and will continue to push an idea ad nauseam even when it has been proved nonworkable.

Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 26, 2015 3:54 am

As a reply to your question Joel D. Jackson to majormike1 please have a read here:

Reply to  CNC
July 26, 2015 6:46 am

The above comment by “CNC” cut the most important part of my comments which was a “Manhattan Project like or Apollo moon project like program to demonstrate controlled fusion (with a sustained next energy gain > than 10) within the next decade and to commercialize fusion over the next decade….” Why? Fission is fission, regardless of the fuel cycle…uranium, plutonium, or thorium/uranium…and the actinide decay products (radioactive waste) follow the same series which must be dealt with over time. In the long term, fusion produces no direct radioactive waste and, in fact, fusion can be used to transmutate radioactive waste to non-radioactive safe elements coming from close to 400 fission reactors worldwide which is itself a cash flow producing business. To learn why fusion is the only realistic solution to energy worldwide please read my on-line publication: “Why Fusion is the Only Realistic Solution” at:

Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 26, 2015 8:29 am

It’s a rather peculiar situation that all kinds of people find this is the overall result that we would like to see but then pick fights over the minutia or political feasibility or not that path exactly, this one. If those who understand that radiation is not some kind of magical demon but one of the most studied scientific phenomena of the last 100 years and that it is possible to chart a course to it’s safe use as the primary electrical source in the world would simply say so. What about the waste? For crying out loud stop terrifying people that every little release of contamination might be the end of the world and all things become manageable. As for the political obstacles let’s do it the way we built a national highway system. Sweep aside attempts to block it as a matter of national security and eminent domain. Of course, fusion is the power source of the future and should be getting every dime that’s being wasted on solar and wind for R&D

Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 26, 2015 5:17 pm

The problem with a Manhattan Project or Apollo style program is that such an exercise would demonstrate the technology, not how to do it economically.
One advantage of a molten salt reactor (not thorium specific) is that the ease of xenon removal and readiness of continual fuel repressing make high fuel burnup rates easer, leading to little transuranic content and less other long lived material in the waste stream. One big problem with fission power in the US today is the politically driven once through fuel cycle that throws away a great deal of potential fuel as long lived waste. If Uranium and heavier elements could be separated and fed back to the reactor the nuclear waste problem is greatly reduced.

Reply to  hanelyp
July 26, 2015 5:50 pm

“Hanelyp” My comment specifically stated “demonstrate fusion (with sustained net energy gain)” within a decade followed by commercialization within a following decade. Commercialization implies significant engineering R&D beyond just experimental science which would be done in the private sector thereby reducing costs to be competitive. The cost of a properly designed fusion fuel cycle is so low that it can be consider negligible and the cost of the power is the amortization of the R&D and the capital expenses associated with the actual reactor and electricity generating apparatus. To learn more about fusion please see my white paper (I am one of several co-authors) on a proposed approach known as Plasma Jet Magneto Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) at:
Fission is fission – but certainly fission is the bridge to fusion, however fission should be sunset by 2050 if not sooner to the extent fusion is properly funded and becomes practical. In the long run fusion is the only realistic solution to correctly solving energy for a worldwide population approaching 9 billion by 2060.

george e. smith
Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 27, 2015 4:23 pm

Nobody has yet demonstrated that earth bound controlled continuous thermo-nuclear fusion is even physically possible, let alone engineering wise practical.
And the availability of tritium mines on earth is somewhat limited; even less available than hydrogen mines.

Reply to  george e. smith
July 27, 2015 4:39 pm

“George E. Smith” My comment says we need to demonstrate (controlled) fusion (with a sustained net energy gain > 10) over the next decade. That implies that we have not done this yet and that we have more experimental science to master. With regard to your comment about tritium it has a ½ life of approximately 12 years and is extremely rare in nature. Any fusion reactor using the DT fuel cycle will breed tritium from lithium. Please see my (I am a co-author along with several others) white paper on our Plasma Jet Magneto Inertial Fusion approach. The fuel cycle is explained in an early section. The paper is on-line at: Thank you for your comment in response to mine.

george e. smith
Reply to  Tomer D. Tamarkin
July 28, 2015 3:19 pm

Well Tomer,
You seem to be all fired up to get the taxpayers to fund your project. I wish you would stop describing it as the energy of the sun and stars.
As we all know, gravitation is the primary source of the energy of the sun, and that dictates a fusion reactor size that is too big to contain on earth.
But I’m happy that you have found an alternative that we can do here on earth.
I assume that it in some way must involve the Coulomb force, as that would seem to be the sole remaining candidate we have to work with.
Good luck with your project. As a taxpayer, I would rather invest in some new drilling equipment as likely to make more energy available sooner, and at lower cost.
I notice you said that the D-T fusion produces 4He + n .
That would seem to dispel the myth that fusion produces no radioactive waste products.
I once built a tissue equivalent neutron monitor for use in a laboratory that produced copious quantities of neutrons from D-D collisions in an accelerator.
So I wouldn’t be wanting to be too close to a neutron producing fusion plant no matter if it did cost nothing much to run, and produced energy at nearly zero cost. I’m intrigued as to how you input the fuel, and exhaust the waste products, to give a continuously flowing fusion energy flow. The Lawrence Livermore “whack a mole” laser machine seems like a rather poor way to make energy available; but I understand that is consumes a heck of a lot of energy on its way to fusion power.
But I certainly wish you all the best with your plans; but everyone will beat a path to your door when you turn the switch on.

Reply to  george e. smith
July 28, 2015 3:45 pm

An couple of important corrections. I am not suggesting the government do this nor am I suggesting tax payers fund it. The government has mismanaged fusion development for energy since 1985. I am suggesting the private sector do this. In terms of “my project” I suggest that you review our website fusion science section and study the Laser Inertial Confinement section under “Mainline Approaches” as well as the various Innovative Confinement approaches and private groups working on them. In terms of your comments about the 4 mev in neutrons that is mitigated by a Lithium bath so as not to come in contact with other materials which can become mildly radioactive. And needless to say the DT reaction will be the first we demonstrate with because it is the most energetic and requires the least energy as input. Here is the URL: Beyond this exchange, should you wish to discuss plasma physics and fusion in more detail, please email me at or call me at 916-482-2020. Thank you for your comments.

Reply to  Chris y
July 26, 2015 2:50 am

>>I hope someone proposes this to Steyer.
Yes, it would be interesting to see if he accepts this, or rejects his own proposal.

July 25, 2015 12:52 pm

putting us on the pathway to a 100% clean-energy economy by 2050 and millions of new jobs
It is this oft repeated assertion that drives me mad.
If “clean energy” would create milions of new jobs, it could only do so by sucking giant amounts of money out of the rest of the economy. Unless in Steyer’s fantasy world, those millions of people work for free? Let’s figure 3 million new jobs at $20/ hr. Based on a 40 hour work week, that’s $124,800,000,000 per year in “new” salaries. Where does that money come from? Magic?
Since these are “new” jobs, that money must come from the products these new jobs produce. The only way to do that is to get the money from price increases on the existing products. Note that’s just for the salaries of the people! That excludes the capital cost of the new infrastructure which would be many times that.
So Mr Steyer, can you explain to me what the price of electricity would have to be to pay for millions of new jobs plus infrastructure? $2/khw? $3? $5? (assuming all the known limitations that prevent wide scale adoption like the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine) could be overcome?
How will the poor cope with electricity at $5/khw Mr Steyer?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
July 25, 2015 1:09 pm

Cost doesn’t matter. The government will pay for it.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
July 25, 2015 1:13 pm

I have never known a company to succeed by increasing its overhead rate. Be it good or bad, the “jobs” that are in question are overhead jobs since they create nothing new.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  davidmhoffer
July 25, 2015 1:25 pm

You’re right, David: It’s the ‘digging holes and fillin’ ’em in again’ jobs that will be created. All paid for by the poor bloody tax-payer. Jobs, which do not improve a nation; which impoverish the poor and enrich the ‘green’ con-men, like Steyer. And for what… (sigh)

Reply to  davidmhoffer
July 25, 2015 3:08 pm

The millions of new jobs will be all those people needed to peddle on stationary bicycles turning generators. Of course they will only be allowed to eat organic foods.

Reply to  MJPenny
July 26, 2015 12:41 pm

Methane output through the roof [especially is someone tries to smoke!]
– getting worried by the non-scientific media-bugs’ bright ideas.
Mods – please note:
SARC – ” non-scientific media-bugs’ bright ideas” SARC
Yeah, I think it’s fairly evident, but – just to be sure! If overdoing – apologies.

Reply to  MJPenny
July 26, 2015 12:43 pm

“especially is someone tries to smoke!]”
“especially iF someone tries to smoke!]”

July 25, 2015 12:54 pm

How about 50% nuclear?

July 25, 2015 1:01 pm

/sarc on. If you want more jobs, why not make lots of shovels, pick axes, saws and hand drills. Turn off the bulldozers, tractors, electric drills and circular saws. Build roads, do farming, and build by hand. Oh!I know it would be grossly inefficient, but look at the jobs – and the diesel fuel and power saved. /sarc off.

Reply to  nzrobin
July 25, 2015 1:08 pm

Naaah, you don’t need the tools even. Invent something called “climate policy” and tens of thousands of people only need to use their mouths and keyboards (and passports) to pretend they’re doing something.

Reply to  nzrobin
July 25, 2015 1:14 pm

If you want more jobs, why not make lots of shovels, pick axes, saws and hand drills
Why better, if it is jobs you want to create, give them spoons. not shovels…
The stupid, it burns.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
July 25, 2015 8:05 pm

Well. Taking that one step further why give them any tools, or require any work. Just pay lots of money and require no production. Oh my goodness …. it sounds like utopia.

July 25, 2015 1:03 pm

Translation: “I have ‘bribe’ money available. Just publically accept my point of view without question.”

Reply to  ScienceABC123
July 25, 2015 2:31 pm

The same people who cheer Steyner for this, will in the next breath tell you that it is evil to allow rich people to buy support in congress for their proposals.
The stupid is strong with this crowd.

old construction worker
Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2015 5:53 pm

Translation: I have spent millions on land that’s only good for windmills and solar panels. I need subsidies to make billions on my investments.

July 25, 2015 1:12 pm

Looks like a safe bet he’ll be keeping his money in his pocket. Sometimes NOISE is just . . . “noise,” y’know? He’s yawping for “green cred” while basically doing nothing.

July 25, 2015 1:13 pm

St O’Bummer is in Kenya at the moment, on an anti-corruption drive. as soon as he gets back home, he will sort this nonsense out

Reply to  EternalOptimist
July 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Madam, Sir – well-named.
+ several!

Reply to  EternalOptimist
July 26, 2015 5:59 pm

He was in Kenya, I understand he is now in Ethiopia. Communications blackout in Nairobi right now and I have not heard from my Kenyan friend in a day. So she’s totally out at the moment.

July 25, 2015 1:13 pm

I will support candidates who pledge to break 50% of the windows in the U.S. In 2017. Think of the jobs!

Reply to  Grant
July 25, 2015 1:32 pm

Bastiat Lives!

Ted G
July 25, 2015 1:19 pm

US Billionaire Tom Steyer a typical rich socialist right out of Orwell’s Animal farm – Some Pigs are more equal than others. Tom Steyers creed is – Do what I say, not what I do. He and his Ilk seems to come out of the same mold – Whats good and beneficial for the masses is never good enough for him. He made a fortune from Coal, Gas and Oil pipelines. But now wants to stop the opportunity for everybody else, No doubt to enrich himself even more in the renewable hoax/fraud industries. Tom Steyer you sir are George Orwell’s worst nightmare 2 Billionaire times over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Dimocrats will be lining up for your FILTHY LUCRE. a shameful gain . Filthy riches; Ill-gotten loot = perfect for the leftist PIGGYS at the public trough.
US Billionaire Tom Steyer why don’t you just give the disgusting oil soaked money away to the middle class or to the US treasury to help retire some of the debt your best bud Obama who has racked up more debt than all the previous presidents since confederation?????
Yer Tom you and your kind never stop!

Reply to  Ted G
July 25, 2015 2:33 pm

Steyer is still making lots of money from coal. In China. Could that have something to do with his opposition to a new port on the west coast to ship coal from the US to China?

Berényi Péter
July 25, 2015 1:20 pm

Tom Steyer has a single vote, as any other adult citizen. If his money can buy many, it’s a flaw in the political system. No one should be allowed to operate a vote market, that’s supposed to be a crime.
Time for a 28th amendment?

Reply to  Berényi Péter
July 25, 2015 2:36 pm

While your at it, why don’t you just make it illegal for anyone to talk about an election. Make it illegal for newspapers and TV to talk about the issues or do articles on the various candidates? Make it illegal for anyone to volunteer to help a candidate with flyers or get out the vote efforts.
There is nothing illegal or immoral about using your own money to try and influence politicians. What’s immoral is the vast preening done by some who try to pretend that some types of politicking is bad, while other types that their side specializes in is somehow immune from bad consequences.

Berényi Péter
Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2015 3:35 pm

If he throws in his moral support, that’s fine. Although he does not have much standing in that respect.
What he does have, is money. According to the law he can donate $2,600 legally to any candidate, which is not enough to make such demands.
Therefore he must have some workaround in mind, which is — illegal.

Reply to  MarkW
July 26, 2015 6:46 am

Nobody cares if Steyer wants to stuff envelopes or canvas the neighborhoods for Bernie Sanders.
He can man a phone for cold calls or hand out fliers, Nobody cares.

Reply to  Berényi Péter
July 25, 2015 2:38 pm

A recent bill that sought to make it illegal for people to try and influence elections had an exception for “journalists”. When asked how we determined who was a journalist, the bill’s author replied that the govt could be trusted to make such decisions.

Reply to  Berényi Péter
July 26, 2015 6:41 am

If you can’t vote for him or her or it, you should not be allowed to donate money.
California residents should have no voice (that’s money) in Florida politics.
Presidents yes but not legislators or laws outside of your state.
If you live in NY, you have no say if pot is legal in Colorado. It’s none of your business, period.
Next, only a person can donate in politics.
No business, labor union, ngo, non-profit, etc can donate.
The people within these organizations may donate to the presidential campaign or politics within their state.
One name and one social security number per donation.

July 25, 2015 1:21 pm

The stink of political money never goes away.

steve oregon
July 25, 2015 1:22 pm

Hydro is renewable but greasy politicians don’t want it included.

Reply to  steve oregon
July 26, 2015 2:36 am

Once again, the eco-leftist agenda reduces itself to the level of playing idiotic games with words.
The word “renewable” surely has a widely accepted definition.
Last time I checked, that definition did not include the requirement that the technology is useless, unreliable, small scale or astonishingly expensive and subsidy hungry.
Excluding the most cost-effective, widely implemented and reliable source of renewable energy from plans to increase the proportion of installed renewable supply, is surely one of the clearest examples of the skewed motives that drive this entire misadventure.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
July 26, 2015 12:53 pm

The antipathy to Hydro-electric power that the enlightened greenpr!cks harbour is baggage from their art degree days in the 1970s when they all spent so much time anti-dam protesting, claiming it was inundating and destroying so much habitat. Now that they’ve cut their hair and picked up the gullible warming batton to justify their parasitic existences, they can’t very well go and admit admit that they got it wrong when they were students and agree that hydro-power is the ‘cleanest’ of these ‘renewable energy’ sources they keep pipe-dreaming about, because even they realise that they’d look like complete wombles if they made such an about-turn and loose what remaining credibility they don’t have.

July 25, 2015 1:23 pm

Well now…..there’s a winning campaign
..for the other side

Harry Passfield
July 25, 2015 1:31 pm

With particular reference to Steyer (and much respect to to ‘Robert Zimmerman’): “Money doesn’t talk, it swears!”

Reply to  Harry Passfield
July 26, 2015 5:57 am

But it’s all right Ma.

July 25, 2015 1:33 pm

Well, I don’t mind this. He’s being up front, public, and straightforward on his demand. He is going for a cause and will support any politician that will support his cause. His cause is wrong on many levels, but I can respect his actions.
The caveat being: so long as he isn’t highly invested in “green energy” and will make a fortune out of this. Then it boils down to cronyism.
Now, that’s important because he IS highly invested in green energy and this policy will make him many more billions.
It’s bribery.

Reply to  benofhouston
July 25, 2015 2:40 pm

Even if it makes him richer, I have no trouble with him using his own money in this fashion, so long as it’s out in the open. If people agree with the issues he’s pushing, candidates who accept his help will benefit.
If the public disagrees with the issues he’s pushing, the candidates he backs will be hurt at the polls.

Reply to  MarkW
July 26, 2015 1:17 am

Mark, I agree. There are far worse ways this could be done, and I find this being legal far better than the alternatives of lurking behind closed doors.
However, on an ethical level, it’s still bribery and cronyism and I still contem Steyer for it.

Pamela Gray
July 25, 2015 1:34 pm

So this parasite wants to expand his portfolio of public funded energy investments by picking my pocket? Not EVEN if he has to pry it out of my cold dead backside pocket!

July 25, 2015 1:35 pm

Whatever happened to the time when we could celebrate the differences amongst ourselves, and have fun doing it:

July 25, 2015 2:12 pm

Proof positive that some billionaires never really earned their money through intelligence.
My guess is that he wants billions more through government transfer payments towards his renewable energy companies.

July 25, 2015 2:12 pm

Maybe a new law on political donations. No corporate donations, no donations from lobby groups, no donations from any groups or organizations at all, including charitable organizations. Limit personal donations to $25,000. Other places have. Of course there are ways around it, but it takes away a lot of the huge potential influence of people like Steyer. And it makes it hard for politicians to vote against as they look like they are looking for money that may corrupt them in office. What is that thing you have in the US – a PAC?
Steyer gave 73.9 million last election; George Soros gave 3.8 million. See list of top 50 individual donors in the reference.
Info available here:
Hey, does “Clean Coal” count? Or any plant with CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage)? If we put the CO2 underground does it count as “long term renewable” or recyclable or reusable?
Um – how do they build those renewables without using “carbon” by the way?
Does Steyer walk to work?
Can you spell hypoxxxte?
/sarc off.
Sorry. Cranky. It’s raining and I am cold and soaked through from working on my flat deck hay trailer in the rain. Warm shower and off to the garage to finish fixing a saddle.

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
July 25, 2015 2:16 pm

I would rather that all donations must be kept secret from politicians rather than limit people’s speech (giving of money is in effect their tool of speech). This would get rid of the whole problem with bought and paid for politicians because they would not know who funded them. The one limit on speech is that if a person tells a politician how much he supported that politician with funding, they should be fined equal to 20 times the amount they claim they donated with the funds going directly to paying off the debt.

Reply to  astonerii
July 25, 2015 2:45 pm

If you don’t think campaigns can’t find a thousand ways around such a restriction, then you don’t know lawyers very well. Beyond that, as we are seeing with the Obama administration, it really doesn’t matter what is or isn’t illegal, if the Dept of Justice has no intention of indicting their friends, of what use are such laws?

Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
July 25, 2015 2:43 pm

How much would say the political cover of companies like NY Times and the alphabet soup tv channels is worth? Drudge had a report yesterday how the NYT rewrote an article at the insistence of the Clinton campaign. How much would you judge a guarantee of positive press at such a newspaper is worth?
Unless you include the media in such ban then you are set upping the media as gate keepers of what the public is allowed to learn about candidates and political positions. And of course the govt gets to decide who is a journalist and who isn’t.

The Old Crusader
July 25, 2015 2:26 pm

Instead of donating to political campaigns, why doesn’t this wonder boy take his tens and hundreds of millions and fund research programs, deliver cost effective renewable technology, and make a pile of money?
If he really believed in the technology, that’s what he would be doing.

Reply to  The Old Crusader
July 25, 2015 4:45 pm


The Old Coach
Reply to  The Old Crusader
July 25, 2015 6:46 pm

That IS what he’s doing. But as Algore proved, it takes vast government subsidies to make “renewables”, so buying responsive politicians is part of the business model.

July 25, 2015 2:28 pm

Even if renewables actually worked, does anyone actually we could build sufficient renewable power to replace 50% of our current generating capacity in less than 15 years? We’d have to stop building pretty much everything else for 15 years to have even a chance of doing it. No new houses, no new cars, no new factories. Nothing until the new power plants were built.

Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2015 2:31 pm

OR decommission many terawatts of power… Which is I guess what he really wants.

Joel O'Bryan
July 25, 2015 2:30 pm

Tom Steyer first and foremost is an uber-rich limousine liberal investor. Much of his early fortune was made on fossil fuel (petroleum mostly) investments. But living the San Francisco rich socialist scene requires one to be Green to be with the In crowd there. His investments now are in hedge funds heavily betting on renewables and likely Elon Musk’s ventures where solar, wind energy and bayyery storage companies stand to reap billions of dollars profit from tax subsidies and subsidized renewable electricity schemes.
For this crony socialist- capitalism payday to arrive, oligarchs Musk Steyer needs compliant Democrats in Congress, the WH, and Sacramento willing to fleece taypayers and electricity consumers with higher charges.
Thus his campaign bribes carry the explicit dictum for Democrats, “Support my renewable energy subsidies and I will funnel money to your campaign.”

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 25, 2015 3:12 pm

He made a lot of money on coal, and I don’t think he’s going to get over it. Poor devil.

Joel O’Bryan
July 25, 2015 2:32 pm

battery, not bayyery.

July 25, 2015 2:41 pm

That sure sounds like a quid pro quo to me.
I’m sure the DOJ is on it.

Reply to  Neo
July 26, 2015 1:00 pm

Neo, I’m not American.
In the UK, my home, we have many rumoured instances (May or may not be true, of course. No smoke without fire??) of cover-ups helping ‘The Establishment’ – however defined at that moment.
Might your last sentence have benefited by a /SARC addendum?
Or are you a complete innocent [Nah – I don’t think so either . . . .]
Or were you angling for a comment like this – if so +lots.
Smarter than me!

Roy W. Spencer
July 25, 2015 3:07 pm

Why not demand 90% anti-gravity-based power by 2030? Let’s see how many politicians are willing to sign up for that. Might stand a better chance.

george e. smith
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
July 28, 2015 3:30 pm

Well Dr. Roy, as we know, Gravity sucks, and if you have enough matter of the hydrogenous kind sucking itself in, you get fusion energy for free.
But the reactor size required is pretty big, and you need to build it a long way from cities, so the transportation costs and losses are severe.
So I think you might be on to something with your anti-gravity idea; which probably doesn’t suck, but blows instead; pretty much like the Coulomb force blows.
That’s about all we have to work with here on earth.
There’s a problem using EM forces to push things together so they fuse. What is it that you push against; you know, that action reaction thing that old Isaac told us about.
I think I once learned about an “Earnshaw’s Theorem” which basically said there is no point of stable equilibrium in an electric field.
Seems like things that blow, instead of suck, have a way of popping out all over the place.

July 25, 2015 3:11 pm

Evidently most people in Green energy who think any expansion of Green energy will employ millions and millions have forgotten how economy of scale work or is implemented.

Ric Haldane
July 25, 2015 3:12 pm

A 50% change to renewables is quite possible. Just expect a 99.99% chance of grid failure to go along with a failed economy.

Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 25, 2015 3:16 pm

Seems to understand money density better than power density.

Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 25, 2015 4:19 pm

Please see my on-line publication, “The Green Mirage; Review of Forbes On-line Magazine Article “Solar Energy Revolution: A Massive Opportunity” Which covers the science, math, economics and intellectual fraud associated with Green Energy and specifically solar. It may be found at this link:

Reply to  Ric Haldane
July 25, 2015 8:15 pm

You’re right with this comment Ric. There is nowhere near enough thought given to what it takes to make a stable electric grid. So many people view it as some sort of large pool that we can put in and take out whenever and wherever we choose. This is not the case. The system frequency and system voltages need to be managed moment by moment. Net energy balance is indicated by frequency deviation, and power flow by system voltages (both magnitude and phase angle). The system is a synchronous system, where stability is maintained by the main generators sensing system frequency and adjusting their output I response to a disturbance. To fill the gap, or to back off. Solar and wind cannot do this; they produce at the whim of the clouds and the wind, and add to system instability.

Reply to  nzrobin
July 26, 2015 7:07 am

“nzrobin” An excellent point has been made about the synchronous nature of the power grid. AC power is difficult to manage as loads vary and the injection of more (AC) power is required on the grid over distances. Frequencies and phase angel considerations are difficult and vary as a matter of load dynamics (power factor based on capacitive and inductive components on the load.) And regarding the current “renewables” of solar and wind, they are counter productive as it is difficult to match them to the “spinning wheel reserves” for the above reasons coupled with the thermal momentum and ramp up times needed by large coal fired generators. Storage is another issue, which despite popular claims by people like Elon Musk with his home battery power modules based on Lithium ion technology, can never be safe, reliable, and cost effective. To learn more about the complexities of the power grid and storage systems and the related engineering challenges please see our on-line publication at:

July 25, 2015 3:15 pm

Heh, he makes explicit the usually implicit quid pro quo. Nothing quite like being obvious.

July 25, 2015 3:22 pm

There is one country that already has 100% clean energy – France , with 85% nuclear and 15% hydro .It has energy to spare to help (at a price no doubt) pathetic neighbours who have regressed to burning bits of wood to keep warm .
Copy France and the US could be 100% clean long before 2030.

July 25, 2015 4:05 pm

This is perhaps the greatest threat to the State of California and potentially our nation and no one is talking about it. Tom Steyer and fellow crony capitalist Elon Musk, President of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity, have rammed through California SB-350 in the Senate and now close to passing in the Assembly. SB-350 will be signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, aka “Moonbeam Brown.” SB-350 forces California to adopt this 50% RES requirement by 2050 along with the reduction of the use of oil and gasoline by the transportation industries by 50%. It further requires all California state pension funds to divest all stocks and interests in fossil fuel energy companies. It further can create conditions where utilities are forced to limit power to consumers by remote control using the new utility “smart meters” as installed state wide by the 3 investor owned utilities and most of the big mini utilities like SMUD, Palo Alto, et al. It is simply impossible to obtain 50% of baseload power from RES sources as we know them today by 2030 (unless we reduce total demand to about 20% of what it is today thereby making most California Troglodytes to use Governor Brown’s favorite word) unless and to the extent nuclear fission is qualified thereunder. See CA SB-350 at:

July 25, 2015 4:26 pm

Australia’s Opposition Labor Party has just adopted new a “aspirational” renewables target because it will produce jobs; however, the Unions expect to be compensation for the loss of jobs!
(behind paywall)
ALP conference 2015: Labor backs 50pc renewable energy target
The Australian- ‎50 minutes ago‎
Unions have spelt out their conditions for backing Bill Shorten’s ambitious new target for renewable energy, demanding compensation for jobs lost in mining and energy.
25 July: Australian Financial Review: Labor moves on emissions, adopts 50pc renewable energy ‘goal’
Environment spokesman Mark Butler said Labor would take a 50 per cent ‘goal’ to the election “because we know renewable energy will be part of the industrial and jobs base” as well as a worthy environmental goal.
The difference between goal and target reflects the fact that Labor has not locked itself in to policies which aim to buy substantial increases in renewable energy, or adopt tough prescriptive measures, as has happened in the past…
There was no clearer difference between the two parties now than on the question of climate change, he said.
“There are some who say we cannot win this argument”, he said, as a result of a combination of vested interests and some sections of the media”…
The conference has committed that a future Labor government would set up an agency to assist workers in affected regions and carbon polluting industries to make the transition to new jobs and industries…
The head of the CFMEU mining and energy division, Tony Maher said that the reality was that old power stations were already in the process of closing as a result of an over-valued dollar in the past decade and that the focus must be on assisting workers redeploy through retraining and income support. He emphasized that renewable energy ambition was an “aspirational goal not a mandatory target”.

July 25, 2015 4:33 pm

Why do voters put up with this absurdly specific chequebook politics?

Let’s face it – he’s not alone (oh,hello Mr. Soros…) Voters have F-A to do with it Steyer and his ilk know what’s best for the little people – and we all get to suck it up and generally pay the full price for which this character is only placing a miniscule deposit …..

July 25, 2015 4:52 pm

This is a non starter Maurice Strong was interrogated by a lily clean leftist why he gave money to Republicans and he scoffed and replied “I want to have influence” Which may explain why so many republicans have been recruited to endorsing stupid environmentalist technologies and voting in subsidies for their constituencies to pursue them.

July 25, 2015 4:53 pm

This is the way we got ethanol as an option!

July 25, 2015 5:34 pm

Sarah Palin signed off on 50% renewables for Alaska as Governor. Will she qualify?

July 25, 2015 5:53 pm

Apparently THIS billionaire doesn’t believe other billionaires like Gates, or Google but probably he just wants to influence congress:
“Gates expressed his views in an interview given to the Financial Times yesterday,saying that the cost of using current renewables such as solar panels and windfarms to produce all or most power would be “beyond astronomical”.”
“Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.”

Reply to  BFL
July 26, 2015 7:35 am

“BFL” makes a strong point. The electrification of the transportation would cause a minimum quadrupling of energy demand in the U.S. based on the current approximate baseload generation capacity of 440 GW. To put this in perspective and see how unrealistic this is to be produced by the only major renewable contender…solar…please read my on-line publication “The Green Mirage; a review of Forbes Magazine Article on Solar Energy as a Massive Opportunity” at:

July 25, 2015 6:40 pm

How interesting that the Australian Labor Party came out the same week with the identical 50% by 2030 target. In fact, how interesting that the “progressive” (sic) Left seems to often magically come to the identical policy positions as George Soros at the same time.
It’s almost like these billionaires have some kind of direct line.

July 25, 2015 11:01 pm

The problem isn’t that anyone with a lot of money can try to influence politics. That happens everywhere else on earth, and not in elections. The problem in the United States is that legislators, at the federal level, ignore the charter under which they operate. The Constitution gives the government only certain powers, and forbids it from exerting power in any other area. There is no place in the Constitution granting power to the government to dictate where the people get the energy they use. The people need to grow a pair, and take back this government.

July 25, 2015 11:41 pm

This how I think it works.
Wealthy man sees money or power in CAGW.
Bribes politicians who also want power, by financing their election.
Politicians send budget to academics and government agencies in order to pay off obligation to rich man.
Politicians allow UN Agenda 21 to invade the schools and other agencies as part of above
The academics produce crap academic papers because the want some of that budget in their pockets and could use a promotion for themselves.
Further down the line teachers get bonus if they promote AGW.
“Sustainable” industries attract subsidies and foolish people are convinced that both AGW and subsidies are a good thing.
As the empirical evidence for AGW shows how far the academics and others are away from the truth, the arguments get shriller.
Wealthy man makes huge money by harvesting subsidies and producing “Clean” energy.
Tax payers money gets spent as it was in Greece and economy starts to fail.
Rich man goes laughing all the way to the bank (which he owns anyway.
Academics and politicians retire on their accumulated wealth. Much of that is tax payers money.
Normal people hang on to the new religion because for some reason they do not want to “lose their faith”. Maybe because they believe bribed politicians who be elected again.
Next election ???
Whose money got spent ? Oh just yours and mine mostly.
Rich man may have put up the money, but through subsidies he has recovered his investment manifold.
Steyer is not the only one. Visit my blog where I show that the Rockefeller name appears on almost every “sustainable” initiative.

July 26, 2015 2:47 am

What Steyer is asking for, is candidates who who want China to dominate the world, economically and militarily.
China is not going for 50% renewables. China is still opening a coal-fired power station a week. China has just negotiated a new deal with Australia for more coal. China is going to have cheap power. China is going to dominate the world.
What Steyer is saying, is VOTE CHINA…..

Reply to  ralfellis
July 26, 2015 6:55 am

More importantly China is looking to the future. Two years ago China committed to the graduation of >3,000 Ph.D. level plasma and nuclear fusion physics majors to do fusion development work in China over the next 2 decades leading to a successful demonstration of controlled fusion and the ultimate commercialization of fusion. Yes, China is a (9%) member of the IAEA ITER fusion project in France, but China seems to have the common sense to realize that ITER is, in all probability, a bridge to the continuation of the “fusion never” legend, and therefore China has committed to a robust internal fusion development program much larger and better funded than that in the U.S. which by the current administration’s policy dictates that all fusion work in the U.S. paid for by the government (in national labs and universities like MIT, etc.) be in support of ITER,

July 26, 2015 3:00 am

This is nothing new.
Peer reviewed science confirmed a while ago, that the US is an oligarchy, no democracy.
There are only two ways back to democracy
1. Expropriate oligarch billionaires
2. Top jobs in politics, media, big finance, big business, Hollywood have to represent the ethnic composition of the US people. Only that will assure that no ethnic majority will suppress minorities and that no minority takes over by ethnic networking.

Steve Reddish
July 26, 2015 10:05 am

Manfred, are you suggesting a replication of the French and Russian revolutions? How did that work out for them?

July 26, 2015 5:55 pm

It’s for reasons like this that the Citizens United ruling needs to be repealed.

Jon Alldritt
July 26, 2015 5:55 pm

With no takers he can say he did his part at no cost.

Ernest Bush
July 27, 2015 9:31 am

Obviously Tom Steyer has large investments in renewables.

Reply to  Ernest Bush
July 27, 2015 10:29 am

No question Tom Steyer influences John Podesta who, in turn, directs Hillary Clinton’s campaign. For the first clear and tangible evidence of Ms. Clinton taking the bait see the video her campaign released yesterday, July 26, 2015 on the AGW-climate change (scare) driven Big Green Energy Scheme and how she will propagate it by saying “you don’t need to be a scientists or understand…just trust me”

Gunga Din
July 27, 2015 4:38 pm

Odd how those who have already made theirs often turn on the method that “made theirs”. Even when “theirs” was made by their predecessors.
After the chips have fallen maybe his heirs will go this route.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
July 27, 2015 4:47 pm

Not the best link I could have chosen. (Sorry.)
click on “learn’ and then “the house” to get the idea of where I was going.
There’s was even a Hansen involved!

July 27, 2015 7:18 pm

Not only great minds think alike. These ignorant hypocrites do as well:
Australia’s Labor lunkheads, now in Opposition, commit to 50% renewable energy by 2030
billionaire one-time coal burner Tom Steyer won’t support candidates who won’t play green ball of…Yep, same numbers.

July 27, 2015 7:53 pm

Is Steyer unaware that he is dealing with the most dishonest group in in politics and while they will take his money today, they will move on to another agenda if bribed again by someone else?.
Is he that stupid to not know he is dealing with un-principled thieves and liars who will take his money just to get elected and not fulfill the promise.

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