Tom Steyer – co-founder of Advanced Energy Economy, co-senior managing member of Farallon Capital Management and chairman and funder of California’s Yes on Proposition 39 campaign – addressed the 2012 Democratic National Convention tonight in Charlotte, N.C.
Prop. 39 would require every company to use the so-called “single-sales factor” method to calculate their taxes, based on their sales within California. Companies could no longer choose the “triple factor” method, in which half the tax bill is based on California sales and half on property and employees here, allowing firms headquartered elsewhere to pay less. The loophole currently costs the state about $1 billion per year.
But Steyer, 55, of San Francisco, was in Charlotte to talk about President Obama’s long-term economic and energy plans – and to get in a few digs at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney:
Hello, California. Hello, delegates. Hello, everyone else from America! I’m Tom Steyer. I’m a businessman, a professional investor, and a proud Democrat. I think Mitt Romney and I share the same income bracket— although I guess we’re never going to know. But the reason I’m here tonight is that Mitt Romney and I don’t share the same vision for the future, especially when it comes to energy. You see, this election is a choice—a choice about whether to go backward or forward. And that choice is especially stark when it comes to energy.
Take Mitt Romney’s approach. Governor Romney would do nothing to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and much to increase it. He would gut President Obama’s investments in clean energy. He wants to keep giving four billion taxpayer dollars to oil companies every year—the very same oil companies pouring millions into the outside groups backing his campaign.
Or we could follow President Obama’s long-term plan for the future for an economy fueled by a safe, secure, sustainable energy supply. During the last several years, we’ve seen tremendous progress on new technologies that can make us energy independent and create thousands of jobs. This is about investing for the long haul, not for a quick-and-dirty buck. This is about taking control of our destiny by doing what Americans do best: out-innovating, out-thinking, out-hustling our competitors. And President Obama has put us on track to do just that—making investments for the long term.
Read the rest of Steyer’s speech, after the jump…