Billionaire environmentalist ramps up super-PAC spending
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Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer threw $7 million of his own money into his green-focused super-PAC, according to July's Federal Election Commission report.
 
The super-PAC, NextGen Climate Action Committee, is part of Steyer's multimillion-dollar operation to elect environmentally-friendly lawmakers and to defeat candidates and officials who oppose taking "bold action on climate change."
 
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Through July, Steyer's climate change super-PAC spent $10.8 million, bringing the group's total spending this year to almost $22 million — making Steyer one of the biggest financial powerhouses on the left this cycle.
 
Steyer, a California-based former hedge fund manager, bills his climate initiative as non-partisan, but the lawmakers he supports are invariably Democrats and those he opposes Republicans.
 
In an interview with The Hill last October, Steyer said he planned to invest at least as aggressively in the 2016 presidential election as he did in 2014, when he became the biggest individual donor on either side of American politics.
 
During the 2014 midterm cycle — which culminated with Democrats losing the Senate — Steyer spent more than $75 million of his own money supporting Democratic candidates who promised tough action on climate change. 
 
Half of his favored candidates ended up losing, in what was a devastating election for Democrats. 
 
“My experience in political campaigns is you never know what you’re going to spend," Steyer told The Hill in October, foreshadowing his 2016 efforts.