Billionaire hedge fund investor and aspiring Democratic kingmaker Tom Steyer hosted an “intimate dicussion” on energy last October, featuring former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter as moderator, according to documents released by SHIFT Washington, and confirmed by Ritter’s office at Colorado State University today.
In a letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Advanced Energy Economy outlined an evening where “guests will include a small group of 20 to 30 high-profile philanthropists interested in climate and energy.”
“On behalf of Advanced Energy Economy and our co-founder and chairman, Tom Steyer, I would like to invite you to participate in an intimate discussion with other governors on the crucial leadership you are providing in moving our country toward a prosperous future powered by secure, clean, and affordable energy,” wrote Graham Richard, AEE’s CEO.
“You would join other leading governors at the home of Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor in San Francisco. Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter will serve as moderator for the discussion about your state leadership in creating transformational change and innovation in climate and energy policies,” he continued.
“Yes, Governor Ritter did attend,” Linda Wardlow, Executive Assistant at the Center for the New Energy Economy, confirmed to Complete Colorado by email.
Steyer described AEE’s mission in 2012.
“We have a chance to lead in the world in the way that we generate and use energy. It’s a big business opportunity. It’s a chance to make a lot of money,” Steyer says in the video.
Ritter is the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy.
Steyer’s goals, previously kept under wraps, should become more clear this week as his group and those close to the wealthy donor hold a “private briefing” for a “select” group of hand-picked journalists.
“On Wednesday, staff working for Steyer and his NextGen Climate Action Super PACS are conducting a private briefing with a select group of Washington reporters to provide more detail about the billionaire investors plans for 2014,” reported the Washington Post.
Steyer has donated $5 million to the Senate Majority PAC, the New York Times confirmed last week. The super-PAC is dedicated to retaining Democratic control of the Senate, and has targeted races in Colorado, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
The group spent $500,000 in March to attack Rep. Cory Gardner, who is challenging Sen. Mark Udall.
Last week, Steyer’s own political committee NextGen Climate Action was reported to be closely monitoring the Gardner-Udall battle, according to PoliticoPro (subscription only).
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) praised Steyer for focusing on Keystone XL and other environmental pushes.
“We need people like Tom Steyer,” Reid said.