August 11, 2011
Aspen, Colo. Aug. 12 Thomas Steyer, the billionaire philanthropist and champion of renewable energy, will speak at this year's American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) conference in Aspen, taking place August 17 through 21. Steyer helped to defeat California Proposition 23 last year, a ballot initiative funded by corporate interests to suspend the state's groundbreaking 2006 global-warming law, which aims to reduce the state's emissions of greenhouse gases down to 1990 levels by 2020.
"It's all about public health and clean air," Steyer said. "It's all about creating new jobs, and really what we're fighting is self-interested, dirty energy companies."
“As an investor who one might say is insanely obsessed with energy and its generation and use around the world, it seems crazy to me we would roll back science-based clean air standards because there are skillful political operatives and wealthy political donors who really want to get rid of E.P.A. regulations,” Steyer said in a speech at the Cleantech Forum conference in San Francisco in March. “That seems nuts to me.”
During the AREDAY Summit, Steyer will be joining Larry Schweiger, President of the National Wildlife Federation, in an armchair conversation titled "Lessons from Prop 23" at 12:30pm on Saturday, August 20, and an evening conversation with Ted Turner on "The Business of Philanthropy" from 8 to 9pm on Friday, August 19. It will be moderated by Sally Ranney, co-director of AREDAY.
In addition to founding Farallon Capital Management, an equity management company for institutions and high net worth individuals, Steyer is responsible for funding the creation of the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University, part of the Precourt Institute of Energy. The center focuses on the development of affordable renewable energy technologies and promotion of public policies that make renewable energy more accessible. In 2010, Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, signed the Giving Pledge (http://givingpledge.org/) to donate half their fortune to charity.
Ranney says, “Tom will be an incredible addition to the AREDAY dialogue. He will be able to draw on lessons from the trenches of fighting the big-money interests who opposed Prop 23, and offer his strategic advice on ways to engage the American people in the need for changing the way energy is generated.”
“It’s all about public health and clean air,” Steyer said. “It’s all about creating new jobs, and really what we’re fighting is self-interested, dirty energy companies.”
AREDAY Founder and Director, Chip Comins, is thrilled about the addition of Steyer to the speaker roster. “As the champion of California’s clean energy laws, Tom will add a valuable component to the Summit by sharing his political savvy and the strategies that helped defeat Proposition 23.”
Steyer came into the spotlight in 2010 with his successful fight to defeat Proposition 23. That ballot measure was backed by two Texas oil companies and a company controlled by Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers and bankrollers of conservative causes who have homes in Aspen. The New York Times asked earlier this year if Thomas Steyer could be “the anti-Koch.”
Since 2004, American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) has brought top leaders and educators together to promote the rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies via demonstrations, presentations, performances, film screenings and dialogue. Each year, AREDAY hosts internationally renowned speakers and attracts attendees from across the globe – resulting in unique, powerful, cross-sector collaborations and solutions around the climate change issue. For more information, a complete agenda and tickets, visit www.areday.net.
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