Keystone Activist Tom Steyer to Sell Stake in Pipeline Company

Docked oil tanker at Kinder Morgan terminal / AP

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer could net between $1 million and $2 million on the sale of his stake in a major oil pipeline company. He has pledged to donate the proceeds to charity.

Steyer owns significant stock in Kinder Morgan, which owns oil pipelines that transport crude oil from Canada to refineries on the American west coast.

Critics pointed out that Steyer’s intense opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline could benefit Kinder Morgan by preventing the formation of a major competitor to its pipeline network.

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Steyer said in a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R., La.), the top Republican on the Environment and Public Workers Committee that he has directed employees of Fallaron Capital, a fund that he led until last year and continues to hold a large chunk of his investment capital, to sell off his Kinder Morgan stake.

Steyer told Vitter he will donate 100 percent of the profits to assist the victims of "wildfires currently scorching the American West."

He also accused Vitter of being bought-and-paid-for by the oil industry, which has donated to his campaign.