Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s fledgling California gubernatorial bid just got off to a rocky start, marked by a flip-flop on the Environmentalist Left’s fight against ExxonMobil.
In a Politico Morning Energy interview published today, Steyer said he’s staying out of the Environmentalist Left’s campaign – called #ExxonKnew – to investigate the company for allegedly misleading the public on climate change:
Steyer also insisted he isn’t playing a central role in the face-off against ExxonMobil over allegations that it misled the public and its investors about internal research detailing the threat of climate change. Despite a New York Post report that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s staff tried to reach out to Steyer over the AG’s investigation into the company, Steyer said he’s largely staying out of the Exxon fight. “We’re definitely not pushing this thing,” he said, adding, “We are not part of this effort.”
This is noteworthy to Core News, since Steyer and his Super PAC NextGen Climate have been among the loudest voices calling for an investigation, which has turned into a cause celebre for activists like Bill McKibben and the Environmentalist Left.
This January, Steyer spoke in support of of his home state’s investigation into ExxonMobil:
“We don’t have the facts yet, but I think that there is enough that has been revealed that it’s totally appropriate that (California) be conducting this investigation,” Steyer told the Guardian. “Anybody who puts out intentionally misleading information I think should be answering to us.”
In March, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought Steyer’s input on investigating the company. The very next month, Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action held a rally to push the New Hampshire’s Attorney General to join a coalition of state prosecutors investigating ExxonMobil:
Strong support for NH joining the #ExxonKnew investigation.
— NextGen Climate NH (@NextGen_NH) April 21, 2016
Steyer’s millions in donations to politicians and left-wing groups have long protected him from criticism from his fellow liberals, so it will be interesting to see if they once again ignore his inartful dodge on one of the most powerful organizing campaigns the Environmentalist Left has mounted in years.