Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer dishes on Biden’s environmental efforts, Trump’s impeachment, and whether he wants a job in the new administration

Tom steyer

Summary List Placement

In some other dimension, climate activist Tom Styer is president of the United States. There, he uses his billions of dollars to outpoint a packed Democratic field, bounce Donald Trump from the presidency, then paint the White House green with a wildly ambitious environmental agenda.

Back on our Earth, Steyer — who spent more than $344 million of his own money on a short-lived 2020 presidential bid — is neither president nor in President Joe Biden’s administration. 

But Steyer continues to lead his own environmentally-focused, and cash-flush political movement: the NextGen America super PAC, NextGen Policy lobbying group, and Tom Steyer PAC political action committee. He also remains optimistic about the government’s prospects for prioritizing climate change policy and creating incentives for green business innovation.

In an exclusive interview this week with Insider, the billionaire philanthropist and businessman ranked the Biden administration’s early environmental policy performance. He pondered whether members of Congress should be allowed to own individual stock. He dished on his yearslong “Need to Impeach” effort targeting former President Donald Trump. And he talked about whether he’d like a government job — say, an ambassadorship or cabinet post.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Insider: Is climate change denialism dead — functionally dead? 

Tom Steyer: I know that 20 percent of America believes the world is flat. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about that. I mean, there’s stuff that people really believe that it’s not true, but it’s not taken seriously by the vast bulk of Americans. That’s really where we are in terms of clean energy and climate. It’s like, ‘Stop! I don’t want to talk about whether the world is flat!’ 

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But from a public policy perspective, do you believe climate denialism is nearing the same level as flat earthism? 

Yes, I do. Thank God. 

Given everything happening with the COVID-19 pandemic, do you worry that the Biden administration is going to back- or middle-burner environmental issues in a way that they otherwise wouldn’t be? 

I don’t think that’s true. You can see that this administration has hit the ground running when it comes to clean energy and climate response, not just in terms of who they appointed, but the executive actions they’ve already taken. And the emphasis that President Biden has put on this is exactly consistent with the campaign him and Kamala Harris ran. And so, as far as I’m concerned, they have to be able to do more than one thing at a time. They have to be able to do COVID response and climate response and racial justice response. And I believe that specifically when it comes to climate, they’re doing a first-class job. 

Biden, on his first day in office, signed a number of executive orders. The Paris Climate Accord went back into play after not being so many months. What Biden actions, specifically, have stood out for you? And what yet needs to be done?

The thing that remains to be done, that’s huge, is the Build Back …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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