Al Gore, the first 'carbon billionaire' (updated)

Al Gore's is positioned to become a green billionaire thanks to his investment in several 'green energy' companies which reportedly will soon be awarded healthy contracts by the US government. If it were anything other than 'green' energy --  say oil, there would be widespread outrage. 

The UK Telegraph reports:

Last year Mr Gore's venture capital firm loaned a small California firm $75m to develop energy-saving technology.

The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient.

The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants, the New York Times reports. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts.

Thomas Lifson adds:

This stinks of corruption. "Grants" means that our tax money is being given to private companies. This "smart grid" push would be financed by private markets if it had economic merit. Keep in mind that with a "smart grid", statists will be able to monitor and control the electricity consumption of individual households from a central location. General Electric, closely aligned with the Obama Left, stands to profit hugely from government money put into the "smart grid."

Update from Randall Hoven

Did Al Gore forget to pay his CPUSA dues?  The New York Times, of all liberal mouthpieces, is outing the former Vice President for the crime of making big money.  l

In this case, though, the way Gore makes that money is not quite the old fashioned way.  (Although, in the sense of the world's oldest profession, it is.)  Here is how it works.

Step 1.  Lobby the world, the country, and the government that it must do something big and soon to save the planet.  In Gore's case, we have his book, his movie, his franchised PowerPoint brief, his Nobel Peace Prize, his Oscar, etc.

Step 2.  Specifically lobby your government to spend big money on projects to save the planet.  Better yet, make sure that money goes to very specific contractors.  In this case, we have "smart grids", which the government is now spending $3.4 billion on. And specifically, a little company called "Silver Spring Networks" got $560 million from the government for it.

Step 3.  Invest in those very specific contractors.  In Al Gore's case, he has a company for this investing kind of thing: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  His company, by coincidence I'm sure, had invested $75 million in Silver Spring.

Step 4.  Collect big money from those investments.  In Al Gore's case, he is also a "corporate adviser" to Silver Spring.

Al Gore defends all this as putting his money where his mouth is and investing in what he believes.  That would almost make sense, were it not for the fact that money is made in this "industry" only because the government is sending dump-trucks full of money to these companies.

One would think that, with energy costing so much, good old profit-maximizing corporations would be looking for ways to cut energy costs.  But apparently, Al Gore, Barack Obama and other energy experts know better.  They know so much, in fact, that they will invest billions of your tax dollars where even greedy capitalists fear to tread.

Funny how Democrat politicians know how to make money better than greedy capitalists, isn't it?  You might think our government is many trillion dollars in debt.  But Gore and Obama actually saved or created trillions of dollars over the years with their investments of your money.  Just ask Joe Biden.

Thomas Lifson adds:
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