Tom Steyer is a business leader, philanthropist and a catalytic champion for a clean energy economy.
He may be best known in the business community for founding Farallon Capital Management, one of the largest hedge funds in the country. But to environmental advocates, he's a clean energy hero for his critical role in defeating the "Dirty Energy" Proposition 23, which threatened to repeal California's landmark global warming solutions law. And for that and many other reasons, CLCV is honoring him tonight at our annual Environmental Leadership Awards.
In 2010, when two Texas oil companies bankrolled an attempt to repeal California’s landmark clean energy and climate law, AB 32, Steyer joined former Secretary of State George Schultz to co-chair the successful campaign that delivered a stunning defeat to Proposition 23. Two out of three voters said "NO" to the oil companies, the Koch brothers and their dirty energy allies.
Along with his wife, Kat Taylor, Tom Steyer founded the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University. The Center combines science, technology, and policy to address the challenge of climate change. They also founded the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford to push clean energy technology to deployment. “I am a true believer that we have to change the way we generate and consume energy in the United States,” he said in a recent interview about his work to help California and the nation transition to clean energy.
More recently, Steyer is a founder of the Advanced Energy Economy, a national network of state and regional business groups promoting policies to create a clean energy future for America.
Steyer's work is often a family affair. With his brother James, he also founded The Center for the Next Generation to use communications to drive an advanced energy economy and to build support for America's children and families. In 2010, Steyer and Taylor joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in signing The Giving Pledge, promising to donate half of their wealth to charity. They also founded OneCalifornia Bank, now One PacificCoast Bank, a community development bank to help underserved small and medium-sized businesses, nonprofits, affordable-housing developers, and community facilities, as well as families and individuals in the Bay Area.
Steyer's outstanding work has been an enormous factor in California remaining a national and global leader in climate change and clean energy, and we're proud to present him with our Environmental Leadership Award at our annual gala in San Francisco tonight.