Investment Group Puts Millions in Green Companies Gore Has Stake In

by Noel Sheppard on May 2, 2008

in Blog


Some more pieces of the "How Al Gore is Going to Become Amazingly Wealthy by Selling Climate Hysteria" puzzle came together Friday when the Silicon Valley venture capital firm he's now a part of announced a $500 million investment in green technologies.

Making matters more delicious, the firm already has investments in many of the same companies Gore admitted in March he has a stake in.

To begin untangling this web, let's first take a gander at what was reported Friday by the San Francisco Chronicle (emphasis added):

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said Thursday it will invest $500 million in green technology companies that have passed their earliest stages of growth and are maturing.

The venture capital firm also will invest in green-tech startup companies as part of another investment fund it introduced Thursday, which will invest $700 million over the next three years in startups.

For those that have forgotten, this is the same VC group Gore joined last November as reported by NewsBusters.

Here's where the plot thickens. The KPCB website identified the following companies this group has already invested in: Altarock Energy Inc, Altra Biofuels, Amyris Biotechnologies, Ausra, Bloom Energy, GreatPoint Energy, Mascoma Corporation, and Miasole.

Sound familiar? Well, they should, as these are some of the same companies Gore highlighted in his speech to the TED conference in Monterey, California, which NewsBusters reported on April 11:

There are a lot of great investments you can make. If you are investing in tar sands, or shale oil, then you have a portfolio that is crammed with sub-prime carbon assets. And it is based on an old model. Junkies find veins in their toes when the ones in their arms and their legs collapse. Developing tar sands and coal shale is the equivalent. Here are just a few of the investments I personally think make sense. I have a stake in these so I’ll have a disclaimer there. But geo-thermal concentrating solar, advanced photovoltaics, efficiency, and conservation.

As Gore spoke these words, pictures of electric cars, windmills and solar panels appeared in multiple slides on the screen with company names at the bottom such as Amyris (biofuels), Altra (biofuels), Bloom Energy (solid oxide fuel cells), Mascoma (cellulosic biofuels), GreatPoint Energy (catalytic gasification), Miasole (solar cells), Ausra (utility scale solar panels), GEM (battery operated cars), Smart (electric cars), and AltaRock Energy (geothermal power).

Starting to make some sense? Gore and this VC firm invest in the same companies, all which will benefit from the enactment of legislation requiring industry to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and then they travel the world lobbying governments to do exactly that.

Untangling the web further, one of the key partners at KPCB, legendary moneyman John Doerr, also spoke at the TED conference in March, and as can be seen in this video, bragged about how he and seven of his colleagues lobbied legislators in California for the passage of AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

As Doerr proudly exclaimed, this made California "the first state in this country to mandate 25 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020."

Later, Doerr told the audience something that should answer everybody's questions concerning what all this climate hysteria is about:

We've got to make this economic so that all people and all nations make the right outcome, the right profitable outcome, and, therefore, the likely outcome. Energy's a $6 trillion business worldwide. It is the mother of all markets. You remember that Internet? Well, I'll tell you what: green technologies, going green is bigger than the Internet. It could be the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century.

Things becoming clearer?

Let's understand something, folks: this man and this VC firm made billions off of the dot-com boom of the '90s. Now, they're all over this green technology investment scheme.

However, unlike the Internet, their success lies first in scaring the heck of people, and then getting governments — like mine here in California — to buy into this nonsense, and enact legislation which will require businesses to purchase products from companies they already own.

Without such legislation, this entire investment scheme collapses just as dot-com stocks did from March 2000 through March 2003.

This raises some interesting questions. After all, in the past couple of weeks, NewsBusters has reported many media outlets beginning to recognize the folly of biofuels, and how they are adding to the international food crisis.

As Gore and KPCB have invested large amounts of money in biofuel companies, when will press members make this connection, and start informing the public of this really inconvenient truth?

—Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and Associate Editor of NewsBusters.

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