The Democratic mega donor instrumental in pressuring the Obama administration into rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline suffered a devastating blow Tuesday when President Donald Trump approved the project.
Tom Steyer, a California billionaire and one of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors, was a crucial cog in the campaign to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, and spent millions trying to influence congressional Democrats to oppose it. All his work opposing the line went down the drain after Trump signed an executive order Wednesday approving the project.
The president signed a pair of executive orders renegotiating the terms of both the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline. Steyer blasted Trump on Twitter.
“The American people have already spoken out clearly and definitively against the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipeline because they are a bad deal for America,” he said about Trump’s decision. “The pipelines are all risk and no reward.”
Steyer threw a swanky fundraising party in 2014 for members of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser. Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Nevada Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were among those who attended Steyer’s soiree — all of whom eventually voted against the a congressional bill that would have approved the pipeline.
President Barack Obama eventually vetoed a bipartisan bill in 2015 that would have approved the 1,179-mile pipeline bringing oil sands from Alberta, Canada to refineries near the U.S. Gulf Coast. He said the bill would have circumvented the process for making certain such projects are in the “national interest.”
Steyer’s unsuccessful campaign to permanently dismantle Keystone comes amid other sizable failures — most specifically his inability to fork over enough money to push Clinton into the White House.
He spent more than $75 million on this year’s election, with most of his efforts going toward registering millennials to vote. None of it mattered, because Trump bulldozed his way through the financial clutter on his march to the White House.
All Steyer’s efforts were stymied even though his political action group. NextGen Climate, managed to register 1 million voters, including nearly 750,000 in California and about 300,000 in battleground states. He called the surge a “positive signal about the future of our country.”
The former hedge fund manager also focused his campaign on seven swing states, from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Nevada — the battleground push was unsuccessful.
Trump won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, garnering nearly 70,000 more votes than Clinton. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey also won his re-election contest against Democratic opponent, Katie McGinty, making matters even worse for Steyer and his ilk.
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