The Washington Post published a lengthy story this morning detailing former Vice President Al Gore’s work in the green energy sector, cataloguing the ways in which he has benefitted from President Barack Obama’s stimulus.
The article reports that Gore’s personal asset value has increased from about $2 million in 2000 to an estimated $100 million today.
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 Post published a graphic listing companies in which Gore has invested that have also received federal support.
Gore’s friends describe him as a prodigious and passionate investor:
"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."
His friends say that his interests and the Obama administration’s have aligned, and that the convergence of federal and private support only supports the thesis that Gore is a smart investor.
The article also details how Gore’s connections extend into 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.
Gore became heavily involved in green sector investments after his 2000 presidential campaign loss.
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."