Tom Steyer and California Ballot Initiatives:
In 2008 Steyer spent $25,000 in support of California’s Proposition 2, which sought to prohibit the inhumane confinement of farm animals. That same year, he spent at least $177,000 on a successful campaign to keep the California Presidential Electoral College Reform Initiative – which would have eliminated the existing winner-take-all system by which the state apportioned electoral college votes – off the ballot. In 2010 he spent $5 million opposing Proposition 23, which aimed to suspend California’s “Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.” Also in 2010, he spent $1 million on an unsuccessful effort to defeat Proposition 26, which barred the California General Assembly from passing any new taxes or fees – most notably fees designed to limit carbon emissions – without a supermajority. And in 2012 Steyer gave more than $32 million to the successful “Yes on Prop. 39” effort to close a tax loophole that had theretofore benefited out-of state corporations.
Tom Steyer’s Investments in the Coal Industry:
* During Steyer’s tenure as Farallon’s senior partner, the company was responsible for providing acquisition and expansion funding to about a half dozen large coal-mine and coal-power-plant buyouts in Australia and Asia.
* Each year, the coal mines that Steyer funded through Farallon producedabout 28% as much CO2 as was produced annually in the U.S. by coal burned for electricity generation.
* In October 2003, Farallon funded Indonesia’s Bakrie Group’s $500 million purchase of PT Kaltim Prima Coal from Rio and BP.
* In 2004 and 2006, Farallon gave enormous financial backing to an Indonesian consortium that purchased — for $279 million — a 90% stake in PT Berau Coal, an Indonesian thermal coal producer. When PT Berau Coal was subsequently sold to another Indonesian investor, Farallon in 2010 sued that investor in order to obtain a 3% equity stake in PT Berau Coal that Farallon claimed to be entitled to.
* Farallon played a leading role in an investment consortium that purchased — for $378 million — a 41% equity stake in the Indonesian coal producer PT Adaro Coal.
* In a 2010 transaction initiated personally by Steyer, Farallon provided $455 million in financing to help Australian entrepreneur Nathan Tinkler acquire, for $480 million, the Maules Creek coal mine in Australia. Indeed Farallon was one of Tinkler’s leading financiers.
* In June 2013, Farallon acquired a direct stake in Whitehaven Coal. A representative from Farallon took a position on Whitehaven’s board of directors, and Farallon became one of Whitehaven’s largest shareholders.
* In 2008 Farallon purchased an 18% stake in India Bulls Power, one of India’s top power developers, for approximately $158million.
* Under Steyer’s direction, Farallon not only invested in major coal producers, but also in coal-fired power plants.
* In 2012 Farallon earned a large profit from the sale of its investment in Meiya Power — a major Chinese coal-fired power producer — to the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company.
More Information on Tom Steyer:
* Steyer currently sits on the Stanford University board of trustees.
* Through his NextGen Climate Action political committee, Steyer in 2013 supported the gubernatorial campaign of Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Toward that end, Steyer funded get-out-the-vote efforts as well as ads portraying McAuliffe’s Republican rival, Ken Cuccinelli, as an extreme anti-environmentalist.
* Steyer and his wife helped establish OneRoof, an organization that helps rural students and residents in India gain access to computer technology.
* Steyer serves on the advisory council of the Hamilton Project, an initiativethat produces policy proposals geared toward “fostering economic growth and broad participation in that growth, by enhancing individual economic security, and by embracing a role for effective government in making needed public investments.”