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By Drew Johnson

Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire turned environmental activist, just launched a multi-million dollar attack-ad blitz that takes political dishonesty to a whole new level.

John L. Micek | jmicek@pennlive.com

In his latest spot, Steyer accuses Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst of pushing American jobs overseas.

In reality, all Ernst did was bravely pledge to oppose tax hikes. Watchdog group

Politifact judged the ad to be, in a word, "false."

Steyer is also active in Pennsylvania, where he's backing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.

The ad campaign isn't just deceptive; it's hypocritical.

As a self-described "professional pain in the a**," Steyer brags he'll spend 0 million this election cycle to defeat candidates like Ernst who don't buy in to his brand of climate-change hysteria.

But a lot of the money Steyer now uses to advance his fringe environmental agenda was made of off his investments in oil and natural gas.

While managing his hedge fund Farallon Capital Steyer made a killing off of the same fossil fuel industry he is now smearing as greedy and sinister.

Steyer isn't the first green crusader to secretly owe his wealth or his way of life to fossil fuels. And given the stakes of our nation's energy debate, Americans should stop taking these environmentalist hypocrites seriously.

Any list of "do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" environmentalists needs to put Former Vice President Al Gore at the top.

With his global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, the former Veep established himself an expert on carbon footprints - and his is massive.

In 2007, using public records, I was able to determine that Mr. Gore's Nashville mansion devoured more than 220,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year -more than 20 times the national average.

In some months, his electric bills topped ,400. During the same year he was touting An Inconvenient Truth, a film demanding that Americans reduce their energy consumption, Gore's combined electricity and natural gas bills totaled just under ,000.

Public pressure eventually forced Gore to give his Tennessee home a green-friendly overhaul.

But since slapping solar panels on his roof, Gore purchased additional properties and he continues to fly in private jets, even though the resulting carbon footprint can be over 100 times greater than flying commercial.

Another elder statesman of enviro-hypocrisy is Robert Redford. The actor urged Americans to embrace "green buildings that use less energy."

But when an environmentally-friendly housing development was planned too close to his Napa Valley winery, the actor quashed the project.

Redford also demands America "kick the oil habit," despite having served as a paid spokesman for the world's second largest airline - no conflict there.

George Soros is a mega-donor for environmental groups like the Alliance for Climate Protection and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Both groups are staunchly opposed to fracking, a technology that uses pressurized water and sand to capture oil and natural gas deposits trapped deep underground.

And yet, his support for abolishing the drilling technique didn't stop him from recently buying a 4 million stake in CONSOL Energy, an avid practitioner of fracking.

Then there's Bill McKibben. As the head of 350.org, an organization committed to working people into a frenzy over global warming, he is a leading advocate for reducing carbon emissions and killing the Keystone Pipeline.

He's gone so far as to demonize imported foods, including oranges, because of the fuel consumed to transport them.

That hasn't stopped McKibben from jetting around the globe to spread his anti-fossil fuel message. It's still unclear how this busy jet fuel guzzling travel schedule squares with his hardline views on citrus.

Despite the silliness spewing from the mouths of environmentalist hypocrites, the economic and security benefits of domestic oil and gas production are hard to deny.

Thanks to advances in fracking technology, natural gas now sells for a third of what it did in 2008. As a consequence, Americans are saving hundreds of dollars on their heating and electric bills annually - and that has to be good news for Mr. Gore.

Fracking is also propelling domestic oil production to its highest levels ever. In fact, the International Energy Agency recently announced that the United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's largest oil producer. With the unrest in the Middle East and Ukraine, our energy boom couldn't have come at a better time.

Despite so much good news, naysayers like Tom Steyer, Al Gore, Robert Redford and George Soros are doing their best to condemn the fossil fuel industry. But until they start taking their own advice, there's no reason for anyone else to.

Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance in Alexandria, Va.


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