Archive for April, 2009

Capitalist Pig on Green Hell: ‘Gutsy and brash… ballsy and well-researched’

April 27, 2009

Jonathan Hoenig, the brains behind CapitalistPig.com, calls Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell “gutsy and brash” and “ballsy and well-researched” in a Smartmoney.com review.

Photo: Al Gore’s Moment of Untruth

April 27, 2009

At the April 24 House Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing when Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) asked Al Gore about his business interests with the Wall Street firm of Goldman Sachs, Gore scrunched up his face like he had never even heard of anything called a “Goldman Sachs” and, then, twice denied that he had any business interests with the Wall street firm.

We now know, of course, that Al Gore did not tell the truth. Via the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins where he is a partner, Gore has invested along with Goldman Sachs in a floundering oil drilling company called Terralliance.

The photo, below, shows Al Gore at his moment of untruth.

goldmanwho

Al Gore lies to Congress: Part 2 — Goldman who?

April 27, 2009

It’s a good thing Al Gore didn’t have to raise his right hand and take an oath to tell the truth before he testified on April 24 to the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee about the Waxman-Markey climate bill.

GreenHellBlog.com first reported on April 24 that Al Gore lied to the Subcommittee about his personal finances during questioning by Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. It turns out that Gore also lied to Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, who had asked Gore about his connections with the Wall Street firm of Goldman Sachs.

While the connection between Gore and Goldman Sachs that Scalise probably was referring to involves David Blood, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management who is the co-founder with Gore of the U.K.-based investment firm of Generation Investment Management, the April 27 issue of Fortune unearths a more appalling connection between Gore and Goldman Sachs.

In mid-2008 — six months after Gore joined the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins as a partner — Kleiner Perkins joined Goldman Sachs in financing a company called Terralliance — an oil exploration firm!

As Fortune reports,

Kleiner’s dirtying its hands in the oil patch was something of a head-scratcher. Back then the firm had recently hired Al Gore as a partner. But money is money, oil was trading for $140 a barrel, and Terralliance was said to have developed software that reduced the risk of drilling dry holes. It looked as if Terralliance could be a moneymaker for Kleiner, which had sunk a total of $65 million into the venture, an extraordinary sum for a VC firm — possibly its biggest single investment ever.

But less than one year later, Terralliance has faired poorly, burning through hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Fortune.

The salient facts, here, are not that one of Kleiner Perkins investments went south, but the following:

  • Kleiner Perkins and Goldman Sachs had both invested in Terralliance;
  • Given that Terralliance was venture capital-funded by Kleiner Perkins, Goldman Sachs and a few others, Kleiner Perkins and Goldman knew that they were essentially financial partners in Terralliance’s success.
  • Al Gore joined Kleiner Perkins as a partner well before Kleiner Perkins entered into the Terralliance deal.
  • As a Kleiner Perkins partner, Al Gore must have known, if not approved of the Terralliance deal, and that it involved Goldman Sachs. At the very least, under partnership law, such knowledge is legally imputed to him as a partner.
  • Kleiner Perkins investment in Terralliance was not trivial, but perhaps its largest ever in any enterprise. Gore must have known about it.

Getting back to the April 24 House Energy And Environment Subcommittee hearing, when Rep. Scalise asked Gore,

… and I know you’ve got interests with Goldman Sachs.

To which, Gore made facial gestures that virtually implied he had never even heard of Goldman Sachs. Gore then replied,

No.

Rep. Scalise continued,

… well, that’s been reported. If — is that not accurate?

Gore replied,

No. I wish I did, but I don’t.

There you have Gore flatly denying that he had interests with Goldman Sachs when he clearly did.

The irony is that during Gore’s exchange with Rep. Scalise, he accused the fossil fuel industry of lying to Scalise and the American people for 14 years. As it turns out, the part of the fossil fuel industry that lied to Rep. Scalise and the American people was none other than Terralliance-investor Al Gore himself.

Transcript of Rep. Steve Scalise-Al Gore exchange during the April 24, 2009 House Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing on the Waxman-Markey climate bill.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

As we debate what I agree is a very important piece of legislation, a piece of legislation, in my opinion, and many others, that would have very detrimental effects on our economy if it was implemented the way it’s been drafted.

We’ve been trying to get a quantifiable grasp on the cost of this bill — how much it would actually cost American families; how many jobs would be created and lost? And we’ve — number one, on the science side, we’ve had very divergent views. We’ve had dozens of experts come, over the last few days, and testify, giving very different opinions on the science.

On the economics of it, we have not had the same kind of divergence. In fact, most economists and experts that have testified on the cost acknowledge — in fact, I’ll refer to President Obama’s own budget that was just passed two weeks ago. If you go to page 119 often President’s budget, he’s anticipating generating $646 billion in new tax revenue from this bill. So, clearly, the president expects this bill to generate $646 billion in new taxes that even his own budget director has said would be passed on to consumers…

And then, Senator Gore, talk to the numbers that this Congressional Budget Office — and now the president’s budget director, gave to your bill, and how that would relate to this bill in terms of the cost to American families of implementing a cap-and-trade energy tax…

MR. GORE: Congressman, you began by denying that there is a consensus on the science. There is a consensus on the science.

REP. SCALISE: Well, you must not have been listening to our testimony that we’ve had for the last few days, with dozens of experts that have come in, who have given completely different views.

MR. GORE: Well, there —

REP. SCALISE: So, I would — I would encourage you to go back and look at the testimony that this committee’s heard.

MR. GORE: There are people who still believe that the moon landing was staged on a movie lot in Arizona. But —

REP. SCALISE: And neither of us are one of those. And I know you like giving those cute anecdotes. This is not a cutsie issue. We’re talking about —

MR. GORE: No, that’s, that’s —

(Cross talk.)

REP. SCALISE: — that could export millions of jobs out of our economy, out of our country. And testimony’s been given just to those numbers.

And so we’re talking about a serious consequence that there would be on this country, and the carbon leakage that would occur, where the carbon would be emitted but it would be emitted in China and India, and the jobs would go to China and India. And that’s been testified before this committee in the last few days as well.

MR. GORE: Man —

REP. SCALISE: So testify about the actual costs. Do you want to —

MR. GORE: Man —

REP. SCALISE: — talk about the costs?

MR. GORE: — man-made — global warming pollution causes global warming.

That’s not a cutsie issue. It’s not an open issue —

REP. SCALISE: It’s your — and it’s your opinion, obviously. You’ve stated it many times.

MR. GORE: It’s the — it’s the —

REP. SCALISE: But, would you talk to the cost?

MR. GORE: — it’s the opinion of global scientific community. And, more importantly —

REP. SCALISE: They’re not in unanimity. There are others on the other side.

MR. GORE: — more importantly, more importantly, Congressman, that opinion is the opinion of the scientific studies conducted by the largest corporate carbon polluters 14 years ago, who have lied to you and who have lied to the American people for 14 years —

REP. SCALISE: And you talk about carbon — and I’ve got to — I’m running out of time, we talk about carbon polluters. You talk about them. It’s my understanding that back in 1997, when you were vice president, Enron’s CEO, Ken Lay, was involved in discussions with you at the White House, about helping develop this type of policy, this trading scheme. Is that accurate? Is it inaccurate? It’s been reported.

MR. GORE: I don’t know. But I met with Ken Lay, as lots of people did, before anybody knew that he was a crook.

REP. SCALISE: Right. And clearly you can see why so many of us are concerned about this type of cap-and-trade energy tax that would be literally turning over this country’s energy economy.

MR. GORE: I didn’t know him well enough to call him quot;Kenny boy.quot;

REP. SCALISE: Well, you — but you knew him well enough to help devise this trading scheme. And, obviously, we know what Enron and these big guys on Wall Street, like Goldman Sachs — and I know you’ve got interests with Goldman Sachs.

MR. GORE: No.

REP. SCALISE: These people — well, that’s been reported. If — is that not accurate?

MR. GORE: No. I wish I did, but I don’t —

REP. SCALISE: With executives from — you’re partnered in companies with executives from Goldman Sachs. Well, if you’re not, either way, Enron clearly had an interest in doing this when they were around, and we saw what they did.

And when you see the types of people involved in wanting to set up this kind of scheme, you can see why so many of us are concerned about —

MR. GORE: Are you —

REP. SCALISE: — turning our energy economy over to a scheme that was devised by companies like Enron and some of these Wall Street firms that —

MR. GORE: Well, that —

REP. SCALISE: — have wrecked our financial economy.

MR. GORE: — I don’t really know if you want me to respond to that. I guess what you’re trying to say — you’re trying to —

REP. SCALISE: I mean, clearly, there would be —

(Cross talk.)

REP. SCALISE: — big winners and big losers.

MR. GORE: — you’re trying to say — there’s some kind of guilt by association? Is that your —

REP. SCALISE: Not association. I’m saying that there are going to be big winners and big losers in this bill. And that’s been discussed by everybody talking — big winners and big losers.

But, some of the big winners are some of the very financial experts that helped destroy our financial marketplace. And I think that should be noted, that companies like Enron helped come up with this trading scheme that was invoked —

MR. GORE: Enron didn’t —

REP. SCALISE: — in cap-and-trade.

MR. GORE: — Enron didn’t create this proposal in any way, shape or form —

REP. SCALISE: Well, the details are not in this bill —

MR. GORE: — that’s a false accusation.

REP. SCALISE: — the details are not in this bill, and I would suggest that they are.

Gore lies to Congress about personal finances

April 24, 2009

When Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn confronted Al Gore with his profiteering from global warming legislation at today’s House Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing on the Waxman-Markey climate bill, Al Gore said that every penny he ever made from his business activities went into non-profit efforts. [See transcript below.]

That is a flat-out lie, according to this March 6, 2008 Bloomberg report that indicates that Al Gore invested $35 million of his own money in various for-profit endeavors.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore left the White House seven years ago with less than $2 million in assets, including a Virginia home and the family farm in Tennessee. Now he’s making enough to put $35 million in hedge funds and other private partnerships.

Gore invested the money with Capricorn Investment Group LLC, a Palo Alto, California, firm that selects the private funds for clients and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products, according to a Feb. 1 securities filing. Capricorn was founded by billionaire Jeffrey Skoll, former president of EBay Inc. and an executive producer of Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary film on global warming.

Kudos to Rep. Blackburn for asking one of the “10 Questions for Al Gore” and exposing Gore as the fundamentally dishonest operator that he is.

Here’s the transcript from the April 24, 2009 exchange between Al Gore and Rep. Blackburn. Note that not only does Al Gore lie to Rep. Blackburn, he tries to turn the tables by implicitly accusing her of being anti-business.

Rep. Blackburn: …You talked a little about [that] people have to have trust in what you’re doing and I think you know that this bill is going to fundamentally change the way America works and it’s going to effect families. We’ve all talked about how it affects individuals and what it’s going to do to their budgets and… ah… what it’s going to do to jobs in this country. And given the magnitude of those changes, I think it’s really important that no suspicion or shadow fall on the foremost advocates of climate change legislation. So I wanted to give you the opportunity to kind of clear the air about your motives and to set the record straight about your motives for some of your former constituents. And I’ve got an article from [the] October 8 [2008] New York Times Magazine about a firm called Kleiner Perkins… a capital firm called Kleiner Perkins. Are you aware of that company?

Al Gore: Well, yes. I’m a partner at Kleiner Perkins.

Rep. Blackburn: So you’re a partner in Kleiner Perkins. OK. Now they have invested about a billion dollars in 40 companies that are going to benefit from cap-and-trade legislation. So is the legislation that we are discussing here today, is that something that you are going to personally benefit from?

Al Gore: [Sigh]… I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us. And I have invested in it. But every penny that I have made, I have put right into a nonprofit, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to spread awareness of why we have to take on this challenge. And, Congresswoman, if you’re… if you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me.

Rep. Blackburn: No, sir, I’m not making accusations. I’m asking questions that have been asked of me. And individuals… constituents… that were seeking a point of clarity. So I am asking…

Al Gore: I understand exactly what you’re doing Congresswoman. Everybody here does.

Rep. Blackburn: Well, are you willing to divest yourself of any profit. Does all of it go to a not-for-profit. Is it an education not-for-profit?

Al Gore: Every penny that I have made has gone to it. Every penny from the movie, the book… uh… from any investments from renewable energy. I’ve been willing to put my money where my mouth is. Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?

Rep. Blackburn: I am simply asking for clarification on the relationship.

Al Gore: I’m proud of it. I’m proud of it.

Rep. Blackburn: Thank you and I appreciate the answer…

Sen. Warner admits granchildren concerns caused his alarmism

April 24, 2009

Sen. John Warner admitted today at the hearing that his concern about global warming arose from his granchildren’s worries.

Rumor has it that Sen. Warner will next support legislation to eliminate toe monsters from child bedrooms.

Al Gore feigns ignorance on Goldman Sachs link

April 24, 2009

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) pressed Al Gore about his connections to Goldman Sachs. Gore responded with a quizzical look in denying the charge.

But Gore’s partner in Generation Investment Management is David Blood, a former Goldman Sachs partner. Goldman Sachs is lobbying for global climate change. You draw the lines.

Gore then tried to defend himself by accusing Rep Scalise of engaging in “guilt by association.” Yeah, Gore never does that.

Thanks to Rep. Scalise for asking one of the “10 Questions for Al Gore.”

Al Gore: Skeptics like ‘moon landing deniers’

April 24, 2009

Al Gore testified today that climate skeptics are like those who deny that the moon landing occurred.

Kudos to Rep. Scalise (R-LA) for pressing Gore on the science.

Al Gore: Skeptics are ‘paid quacks’

April 24, 2009

Al Gore suggested that future generations will ask: What were they [us[ thinking? Why did they listen to “outlier quacks who got money from carbon polluters?”

Will any congressman ask Al Gore these 10 questions about his financial interests in global warming?

Useful idiot of the day: John Warner

April 24, 2009

Although former Virginia Sen. John Warner is testifying alongside Al Gore today in favor of the Waxman-Markey climate bill, he admitted that he hadn’t read the bill — earning him the Green Hell ‘Useful Idiot of the Day’ Award.

Al Gore howler: IPCC ‘represents global scientific community’

April 24, 2009

Al Gore said today that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “represents the global scientific community.”

How about the 31,000-plus scientists who signed a petition calling global warming junk science?