Tom Steyer believes "Big Oil" is conducting a "shadow war" against him

Two of the biggest of the billionaire liberal power brokers seem to be making a lot of news lately. We only recently talked about Tom Steyer and how he’s demanding answers from the oil and gas industry as to why California gas prices are so high while simultaneously calling for an increase in oil extraction fees. People took note of that for obvious reasons and he received some well deserved mockery. But with rumors still swirling that Steyer will either make a run for Governor himself or once again be one of the biggest spenders in the nation as he attempts to influence elections, the billionaire is claiming that there’s some sort of secret effort underway to undo him. (Bloomberg)

“They are going to try to dirty him up,” said Court, a Steyer ally. “He is personally committed on a moral level to preventing a 4-degree temperature change that is irreversible, and he has $3 billion to pursue his passion.”…

For now, he says the opposition won’t deter him and he’s focusing on his climate initiatives by giving speeches and meeting with editorial boards and policy makers in Iowa, participating in a panel on clean energy with business leaders and environmentalists in New Hampshire and joining a public clean-energy discussion in Ohio.

“I’m choosing to take it as a compliment that they’re taking us as a threat,” he said. “They’re making too much money if they’re going to waste it on stuff like that.”

All you really need to do is go out and do a search on news items including the phrases “Tom Steyer” and “gas prices” and you’ll see the sort of shadow war that’s being waged against him. If this is supposed to be a covert action, the people responsible aren’t terribly familiar with the definition of “covert.” I happen to write about Steyer because I’m interested in energy issues, and as it turns out I don’t need to rely on top secret meetings with oil barons in smoke filled rooms to get my information. I have Google News alerts set up on the topic and they tell me all I need to know, including things like his generally liberal home town newspaper running headlines which say that Steyer is Flunking the Logic Test.

That last line from Steyer was particularly striking since he was willing to say that the oil companies were “making too much money.” It’s an odd way for such an effective billionaire to act, isn’t it? And speaking of billionaires, there’s one more making headlines this week. I assume that most of our readers are familiar with George Soros, specifically with his liberal positions on energy and attacks on the use of fossil fuels, particularly that dirty old coal. Then isn’t it odd that Soros is suddenly buying up coal stocks? (Fox News)

Billionaire investor George Soros, who has demonized fossil fuels for years through his think tanks and political contributions, seems to have warmed up to Big Coal now that stocks are dirt cheap.

The left-wing hedge fund legend has raised eyebrows with major purchases of stock in two large coal companies, firms his critics say he helped bring to their knees. While buying low is the hallmark of any shrewd investor, buying coal goes against the political and environmental ideology Soros has long espoused.

“I find it very interesting that George Soros would buy shares in those coal companies,” said Daniel Simmons, vice president for Policy at the Washington DC-based free market energy group, Institute for Energy Research. “I am confused given the non profits he funds and how hard they have worked to demonize coal.”

Unlike Steyer, who just seems to be confused on any number of points, you at least have to give a thumbs up to Soros here. He didn’t get rich by being stupid and buying low is one half of the formula for expanding your wealth if you have the resources to exploit such opportunities. But as the article goes on to note, Soros has to be ready to weather some accusations of hypocrisy since he only recently had his Climate Policy Initiative think tank chastise the world and urge them to end their addiction to fossil fuels in general and coal in particular. (This is a game he’s been playing for a while now and doing so quite effectively.)

Between the two of them – Steyer and Soros – you really have to admire Soros a bit more. They may both be playing some sneaky games and engaging in jaw dropping hypocrisy, but George at least knows how to make a buck on the deal.