Al Gore a BP investor — while producing ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

Al Gore is the perpetual hypocrisy machine.

Gore’s “sustainable capitalism” vehicle called Generation Investment Management was invested in BP until the May 2005 Texas City fire (see excerpt below). Work on “An Inconvenient Truth” began in 2004. And Gore only got out of BP because of the Texas City fire — not its fossil fuel-based business.

From the New York magazine profile of Al Gore:

One of his first projects was to reform capitalism itself. “It’s a big idea, and it’s an important idea,” Gore tells me. He had first looked at the socially conscious investment niche, but found that investing purely based on politics was more about feeling good than about either capitalism or changing the world. In 2004, he launched Generation Investment Management with David Blood, a former Goldman Sachs executive who’d overseen assets totaling $325 billion.

Generation is a moneymaking enterprise wrapped in a cause. “Sustainable capitalism,” it was called in an elaborate white paper, which meant that investment criteria were expanded to include things like whether management had a long-term view—“Short-termism,” says Gore, “is a blight on the economy”—and also took into account supposed externalities like environmental and social concerns. Gore and Blood (Gore originally wanted to call the firm “Blood and Gore”) hired two thirds of their employees from the traditional investment world and one third from the sustainability-research community and laboriously created the method and the rhetoric themselves. Strange as this hybrid creature is, the investments have often been pretty conventional. The returns have consistently beaten their benchmarks, says Gore, but he is proudest of investments the company has avoided. “We were invested in BP,” he says. “Then our investment team noticed a refinery fire in Texas, then a pipeline fire in Alaska—they’d done some major acquisitions and hadn’t extended the safety culture. We got out of it. We designed a model to pick that up.”

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