Despite the well-known failures and struggles of the renewable energy sector, former Vice President Al Gore has managed to profit handsomely from multiple "green" energy investments, according to a lengthy and surprisingly revealing Washington Post article.
And when we say he has done well, we mean he has done really, really well. Take, for instance, the fact that since getting into the business in 2000, Gore's personal wealth has grown by approximately $98 million:
Gore charted this path by returning to his longtime passion -- clean energy. He benefited from a powerful resume and a constellation of friends in the investment world and in Washington. And four years ago, his portfolio aligned smoothly with the agenda of an incoming administration and its plan to spend billions in stimulus funds on alternative energy.
The article continues, listing Gore-related "green" energy companies that have received federal money. Actually, according to the report, Gore has something of a knack for investing:
“Maybe there’s someone as knowledgeable and passionate about climate change. I just haven’t met that person,” said Orin Kramer, a leading New York hedge fund manager, friend of Gore and top Democratic campaign bundler. “His schedule is intensely busy, and my sense is he lives a life that profoundly reflects his values and passions.”…
“Is he better than average” at picking the best companies, [Elaine] Kamarck asked. “Of course he is. Why is that a surprise? He’s spent his life studying this sector.”
Gore’s close friends insist it simply happened that he and President Obama saw eye-to-eye on renewable energy, and that the commingling of federal and private funds for "green" energy is further proof Gore's savvy investing. But make no mistake, although Gore’s investment in "green" energy is much older than the Obama presidency, he definitely has connections in the current administration:
Gore’s orbit extended deeply into the administration, with several former aides winning senior clean-energy posts. Among them were Carol Browner, a former Gore political operative who became the president’s climate change czar, and Ron Klain, Gore’s former chief of staff who went to work for Vice President Biden overseeing the stimulus.
Those connections were underscored in October 2009, when Jonathan Silver, under consideration to head the $38 billion clean-energy loan program, hosted a party to help Gore raise money for the Alliance for Climate Protection.
And in case you don’t remember, Gore decided to cast his lot with renewable energy after he lost the 2000 presidential election:
His loss to George W. Bush in 2000 was personally devastating, and Gore went into a kind of mourning, friends say.
“The way he coped with the 2000 disaster was to throw himself into this new work,” said Elaine Kamarck, a former Clinton aide and friend of Gore who was chief policy adviser on his 2000 campaign. “He just didn’t lick his wounds and go away.”
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
(H/T: WFB). Front page photo courtesy the AP.