Billionaire Steyer: I'm not like the Koch brothers

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer on Tuesday rejected comparisons between his political spending and that of the the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.

With Democrats making the Koch brothers a focal point of their midterm election campaign, Republicans have countered by highlighting the work of Steyer, who has pledged to spend tens of millions of dollars promoting political candidates who support action on climate change.

Steyer said the comparison doesn't hold water because he doesn't have a financial stake in climate change politices, according to the Washington Post.

"Their policies line up perfectly with their pocketbooks, and that's not true for us," Steyer In an interview with C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" that is set to air Sunday. "What we are doing is we are trying to stand up for ideas and principles that we think are incredibly important but have nothing to do with our incomes or assets."

The former hedge fund manager turned climate activist wouldn't offer more specifics about the races he plans to get involved in. So far, Steyer has said he will spend as much as $100 million on 2014 races, which will come from his personal funds and contributions from donors.

Steyer also said that President Obama's pending decision on the Keystone XL pipeline won't define his climate change legacy.

While the choice will be critical, he said it would be an exaggeration to say it would overshadow all other administration policies.

"He's going to have a body of work on energy and the environment that is not going to be totally dominated by Keystone," said Steyer, a strong opponent of the pipeline.

Steyer's comments come on the heels of the State Department's announcement that it is delaying the interagency review of the $5.4 billion oil-sands pipeline.

— This story was updated on April 23 at 10:29 a.m.