Archive for November, 2009
Ahh, lobbying and advocacy. It’s bad no matter who is profiting off of it, right? Apparently not if your “Green”.
From the New York Times:
The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient. It came to Mr. Gore’s firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers, looking for $75 million to expand its partnerships with utilities seeking to install millions of so-called smart meters in homes and businesses.
Mr. Gore and his partners decided to back the company, and in gratitude Silver Spring retained him and John Doerr, another Kleiner Perkins partner, as unpaid corporate advisers.
The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts. Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr. Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.
The article goes on and on (it’s quite long) with Gore defending himself as simply advocating for a greener future and all that, but then goes a little beyond the limits of “news” to help decide for us:
Mr. Gore has said he invested in partnerships and funds that try to identify and support companies that are advancing cutting-edge green technologies and are paving the way toward a low-carbon economy.
Mr. Gore is not a lobbyist, and he has never asked Congress or the administration for an earmark or policy decision that would directly benefit one of his investments. But he has been a tireless advocate for policies that would move the country away from the use of coal and oil, and he has begun a $300 million campaign to end the use of fossil fuels in electricity production in 10 years.
Mr. Gore has testified numerous times in support of legislation to address climate change and to revamp the nation’s energy policies.
He appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in April to support an energy and climate change bill that was intended to reduce global warming emissions through a cap-and-trade program for major polluting industries.
Mr. Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his climate advocacy, is generally received on Capitol Hill as something of an oracle, at least by Democrats.
I didn’t see any quotes in that article there so it’s pretty clear who’s mouth its coming from: The writer.
Gore defended his huge pocketbook by having an interview this morning on MSNBC (A company owned by GE, who spends BILLIONS a year lobbying for green everything) who I’m sure are fair and balanced on this issue.
MSNBC Asks:”Is there a conflict of interest, or even an appearance of a conflict of interest?”
Gore:”Well, No. Of course I invest according to my beliefs and values, and I encourage everybody to do the same thing.”I put my money where my mouth is,”
Much like there is no conflict of interest in Big Oil and their push for relaxed regulation in regards to drilling right?
The New York Times gave him an opportunity also to pipe in on his own behalf.
“Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?” Mr. Gore said. “I am proud of it. I am proud of it.”
No, Mr. Gore, there is nothing wrong with being active in business in this country. There is however something very wrong with being active in a business while at the same time using a heavy handed political arm to sway the Government to force people into spending money into your business (Cap and Trade anyone).
In fact, that is the type of thing people have been put into jail for. Also, I am willing to bet that Al Gore wouldn’t hold the same separation between investing and advocacy to the Oil industry, Nuclear industry, or Coal industry that he holds to himself.
But I’m sure all those who criticize any of those evil energy lobbying would be the first to criticize Al Gore’s “activism” with me.
Huh. They have been oddly silent on this for some time.