Climate change has recruited some of the wealthiest people in the world to its cause. Author and journalist Robert Bryce recently released a deep dive into how hypocritical billionaires fund their efforts to kill the fossil fuel industry. Specifically, Bryce notes the “Climate Imperative Foundation” as the newest and richest anti-hydrocarbon and anti-natural gas group that no one has heard of. The foundation, less than three years old, reported $221 million in gross receipts in its first full year of operation, according to GuideStar.
The group’s website illustrates its goals outright: “These policy imperatives include rapid scaling of renewable energy, widespread electrification of buildings and transportation, stopping the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, reducing pollution from major industrial sources, and economy-wide pathways to reduce emissions from the biggest sources.”
This is not to say a transition to renewables is a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact. But what has been detrimental is the politically led rush towards these technologies at the behest of traditional and reliable energy resources, such as natural gas. Similarly troubling is the hypocrisy of the people funding these campaigns, such as the Climate Imperative Foundation. Laurene Powell Jobs, who sits on the board of the foundation, reportedly owns a Gulfstream jet that burns roughly 500 gallons of jet fuel per hour, as well as owning a $120 million yacht. For someone who funds initiatives that villainizes traditional energy sources, Jobs sure is reliant on it for her leisure.
Speaking of jets, even Bill Gates has begun to feel the heat of his hypocrisy, recently saying that his private jet usage is outweighed by how important he is to climate innovation. He noted, “I spend billions of dollars on … climate innovation. So, you know, should I stay at home and not come to Kenya and learn about farming and malaria?” Billionaires may be out of touch enough to think that their investments make them part of the solution, but to Americans, their hypocrisy is evident.
This trend is nothing new for billionaire Michael Bloomberg. His Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation has launched a new initiative, “Beyond Petrochemicals” on the heels of “Beyond Coal” and “Beyond Carbon.” Petrochemicals are in thousands of everyday products that Bloomberg himself uses everyday. The GAIN coalition recently pointed out the overflowing hypocrisy of Bloomberg in a new video commenting on the Beyond Petrochemicals campaign. Natural gas must be a partner to renewables as we transition. The billionaires behind the campaigns demonizing oil and gas rely on it themselves and would prefer the public ignore their fondness for burning fuel while they fund restricting resources from the less fortunate.
“Rules for thee and not for me,” is the calling card of ‘activists’ such as Bloomberg and Jobs. As natural gas comes into the crosshairs of these billionaire-backed NGOs, it is necessary to remember that it will be integral to the transition to green energy technologies. President Biden admitted as such during his State of the Union, saying “We’re still going to need oil and gas for a while.”