Billionaire enviro targeting Pa. governor's race over climate change
Reuters reports billionaire Tom Steyer, an environmental activist and retired investor from California, has his eye – and his check book – on Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race and other political contests. The issue he’s targeting: climate change.
More from Reuters:
NextGen Climate, Steyer’s political group, said Thursday it would back candidates in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania who face challenges from opponents who either doubt that humans cause climate change or receive donations from the fossil fuel industry.
NextGen said it would use climate change as a “wedge issue” to drum up voter turnout and to show that taking an anti-science position can hurt rather than help political candidates.
“The debate on climate change is settled,” Steyer said. “It is here, it is human-caused, and it is already having a devastating impact on our communities, but we need to accelerate the level of political support to address this critical issue before it’s too late.”
Back in February, The New York Times wrote about Steyer’s $100 million plan to influence elections during the 2014 campaign season.
In Pennsylvania, Democrat Tom Wolf is running to unseat incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett in November’s general election.
As StateImpact Pennsylvania has reported, voters will have a stark choice when it comes to where the candidates stand on climate change.
Governor Corbett believes the issue is still a subject of debate within the scientific community and has pointed to the expanded use of natural gas as a way that both Pennsylvania and the United States have successfully cut carbon emissions.
“I also understand that we are only a portion of the issue here in the United States compared to the entire world and we have to get the entire world on with us,” Corbett said in a recent interview. “We have to get China, we have to get India on with us.”
Businessman Tom Wolf believes scientists have concluded that climate change is man-made and needs to be addressed quickly.
“Are there uncertainties? Absolutely,” Wolf said. “Are we dealing with areas of theory in some cases? Absolutely, which is what we always do and we have to make decisions based on the best theories that we have out there.”
Wolf said he would charge a 5 percent severance tax on natural gas production and use some of the revenue to make renewable energy more cost-effective.
Note: This post has been updated to correct the spelling of Tom Steyer’s last name.