Could Green Tech Billionaire Benefit from Legislation?

Billionaire Tom Steyer is accused of reaping financial benefits from his support of Green Tech legislation. Wayne Lusvardi, writing in Calwatchdog.com, makes the case that in

the kleptocratic state of California where so much plundering of people’s wealth is going on under the guise of a green, redevelopment or public health agenda that it has become taken for granted that one can do so. The line that demarcates what’s mine and what’s yours has become so blurred that there is no longer any shame of using laws or tax initiatives for public greed.

Steyer runs Farallon Investments, which Lusvardi claims ”holds a number of green stocks in its investment portfolio”. Steyer, according to Lusvardi, would benefit from the continuation of California’s green power law AB 32. As reported by the Sacramento Bee,

Steyer heads Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, Steyer heads Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, a coalition of technology firms and environmental groups that formed in 2010 to defeat an oil-backed suspension of the state’s greenhouse-gas reduction law

The Bee also reported that Steyer is backing a proposal where the state

would require businesses to pay taxes based solely on the proportion of sales they have in California compared to other states. The $1.1 billion tax hike would largely fall on the backs of out-of-state companies who currently pay taxes based on a different formula that does not penalize them as much for maintaining workers and offices outside of California.

Lusvardi claims,

Steyer’s proposed tax would first take half of the tax proceeds for green projects and jobs that would no doubt prop up his and CalPERs’ investment portfolio.

CalPERS is the California Public Employees Retirement System and Farallon is one of the external managers of their retirement fund.

Lusvardi makes no mention of any of the proponents of Prop. 23. Presumably none of them would have enjoyed financial benefits if it had passed, and we must therefore conclude that their motives were entirely altruistic.

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