Despite Critics, Gore ‘Proud’ to Invest in Green Firms

by | Nov 4, 2009

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Responding to criticism that his investments profited richly from the stimulus package, Al Gore defended himself Nov. 3.

“I am proud to put my money where my mouth is for the past 30 years,” Gore said during an interview on ABC Morning News, reports UPI. He also appeared later that day on the David Letterman show, promoting his book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.”

A day earlier, media outlets seized upon revelations that a Silicon Valley firm Gore invested will benefit from smart grid projects that received more than $530 million in a recent stimulus package grant, as reported in a New York Times article.

Gore said that he believes in investing in accordance with his beliefs and values, but that he’s not a “carbon billionaire” as the NYT article portrayed him.

The NYT dug up details about Gore’s relationship with Silver Springs Networks, which makes smart grid equipment. Last year, Silver Springs sought and received $75 million in venture capital funding from a firm that Gore is affiliated with, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

In a recent round of $3.4 billion in smart grid financing from the federal government, more than $560 million went to utilities which have contracts with Silver Spring, according to NYT.

Gore, who has earned millions in speaking fees and other deals since leaving office, has invested in firms that deal in carbon trading markets, solar cells and waterless urinals, among others.

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