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Tom Steyer, who made his fortune running his hedge fund Farallon Capital, first rose to political fame by spending millions of dollars in politics to get others to stop spending millions of dollars in politics, to end what he called “the corporate stronghold on democracy.” But that doesn’t mean he thinks business leaders can eschew all political responsibility, especially when it comes to climate change.
Steyer once profited greatly off investments in various oil companies but had a change of heart in the mid-2000s; now he’s hoping others may do the same. By 2012 he stepped down from his role in the financial world, sold all of his personal fossil fuel assets, and became involved in politics—donating millions to candidates across the country who campaigned on climate change action and opposed fossil fuel development. In 2013, he founded NextGen Climate to register and mobilize voters around climate change. He has since given over $240 million to federal candidates through his organization.
His 2020 presidential run gave him his largest platform yet, and while he broadened his message significantly, he remained adamant that it was the biggest problem the U.S. faced, reiterating climate change should be the foundation of any policy proposal […]