Megan Toombs

Tom Steyer is perpetually in the news–promising to raise $100 million to fight climate skeptics in this campaign cycle.

Well, he is fighting, but not with $100 million (he’s had trouble finding backers for his super PAC NextGen Climate Action).

Tom Steyer has thus far spent $20 million on TV ads that either tell bald-faced lies, or use out-of-context sound bites to present a far from truthful story.

In Florida, Politifact.com and Factcheck.com gave half-truth ratings to NextGen’s TV ads accusing Gov. Rick Scott of graft, a falsehood perpetrated with half-truths. The half-truth ratings come from the Republican response ads, which also stretched the truth, attacking former Gov. Charlie Crist, and claiming “they never took a cent” when in fact family members of the person in question did donate to the Scott campaign. But, the claim itself is false. At least in this case, it does not appear that Gov. Scott is guilty of graft.

This is mild compared to some of the attack ads.

The Washington Post awarded NextGen Climate Action four Pinocchios for its “over-the-top ad attacking the Keystone Pipeline. The ad, entitled "Sucker Punch," claims:

Chinese government-backed interests have invested thirty billion dollars in Canadian tar sands development. And China just bought one of Canada’s largest producers. They’re counting on the U.S. to approve TransCanada’s pipeline to ship oil through America’s heartland and out to foreign countries like theirs.

According to the Washington Post, these claims are completely false. The Chinese do have a stake in Canadian oil sands, but it’s minimal. The number given in the article combines Chinese holdings with the remainder of the Asian stakeholders to come to a measly 7 percent.


Megan Toombs

Megan Toombs is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Follow her on Twitter @MeganToombs.