Talk about Al Gore's net worth in 2017 is heating up even as the former Vice President to Bill Clinton has released his global warming movie, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power. Some critics have claimed Gore made his money by exaggerating climate change science, and one recent study criticized Gore's energy usage in his house, but some recent news reports have even gone so far as to claim that Gore hates the poor and is profiting at their expense.
Writing for The Daily Caller, columnist Michael McGrady claims Gore "shows no regard for the poor" because the ex-VP's campaigning for global warming policy is focused on carbon credits and alternative energy instead of making energy affordable for everyone. It's claimed by McGrady that "energy poverty is a greater threat to the world than a sudden climate disaster," yet the "biggest players in the private sector want to propagate the fear of climate change because it is profitable."
Last year, Newsmax writer Larry Bell claimed that the "GOP should seek fraud charges against Al Gore." Democrats wanted the "Department of Justice to investigate companies who have misled shareholders and the public about global warming science," but Republicans responded by saying that if minimizing the risk of man-made climate change is fraud, then "exaggeration is [also] fraud." Gore is well known for saying in 2006 that "unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next ten years, the world will reach a point of no return." He also claimed that there is a "consensus within the scientific community that increasing the global temperature by more than 2 [degrees] C will likely cause devastating and irreversible damage to the planet."
Back in 2009, reports claimed Al Gore's net worth would eventually make him the first "carbon billionaire," since Gore was seen as one of the biggest profiteers of the climate change agenda. Besides releasing the 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth, the Telegraph noted Gore how "made significant investments in environmentally friendly projects like carbon trading markets, solar power, biofuels, electric vehicles, sustainable fish farming and waterless lavatories." The former VP is also known for making $175,000 per speech.
In addition, Gore lobbied for carbon cap-and-trade legislation, which would have benefited his hedge fund called Generation Investment Management (GIM) that he co-founded in 2004 with David Blood, who used to be the chief of the Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). Gore testified in a 2007 Joint House hearing of the Energy and Science Committee that "as soon as carbon has a price, you're going to see a wave [of investment] in it.... There will be unchained investment."
But did those all of those green investments pay off for Gore? Forbes says that between 2008 and 2011 GIM raised $218 million in investment. GIM and GSAM both took large stakes in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) for carbon trading. Within that time frame, the CCX price went from $7 per metric ton to mere cents, and eventually, the CCX was discontinued as of 2011.
Carbon credits were not the only big losers for Gore. GIM also had a large stake in Camco International Ltd., a manager of products to limit greenhouse gases, and that investment evaporated. GIM suffered a $165.9 million loss from an investment in a solar panel company that was beaten by Chinese competitors. GIM also put between $50 and $100 million into Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) to promote green technology companies, but back in 2013, most of the 60 plus companies that received funding failed to find success.
Gore was not alone in losing money to green energy. During that time frame, the Daily Signal noted that former President Obama's taxpayer-backed green energy companies were also going bankrupt in large numbers. Of the $80 billion given out as clean energy loans, "at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain."
Al Gore's Net Worth Increasing Largely Due To Apple, Google, And Non-Green Investments?Various reports have attempted to estimate Al Gore's net worth, and it seems the consensus is that he's worth somewhere between $200 and $300 million. That's a lot of money considering that Gore exited government service with an accumulated net worth of about $1.7 million. But, if so many of the alternative energy investments failed, then where did these millions originate?
Some reports claim Gore probably made more money based on capitalism and early investments into big tech companies. The Examiner noted that GIM's successful investment portfolio is largely related to information technology and biotech firms instead of climate change and global warming.
However, the best financial move Gore made was when he became part of Apple's board of directors in March of 2003. To put things into perspective, the Apple stock price was less than a dollar at the time, and Gore received tens of millions of Apple shares as part of the deal. As of this article's publishing, the Apple stock price is hovering around $155 USD. Gore also became a senior adviser to Google in 2001 and received pre-public stock options.
Over the years, Gore used other non-green investments to build up his Apple stockpile. According to CBS, he co-founded the cable channel, Current TV, only to sell it for $500 million to Al Jazeera. Back in 2013, it was estimated that Gore personally received somewhere between $70 and $100 million in money.
Two weeks after the sale of Current TV, Gore exercised his special Apple stock options abilities to purchase 59,000 Apple shares for the backdated price of $7.47. This meant Gore spent $440,730 to acquire Apple stock worth nearly $30 million.
Fast forward to 2017, and Gore has still been using this stock options trick to increase his net worth. CNBC noted in February that Gore purchased 70,000 Apple shares at about $13 per share only to turn around and sell them at normal market prices for a profit of $8 million. All in all, Gore sold about half of his Apple shares in 2017 for more than $37.5 million.
Will An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power cause Al Gore's net worth to heat up even further in 2017? Box Office Mojo shows that the opening box office sales of $124,000 were less than half of An Inconvenient Truth, so the movie is a drop in the bucket compared to Gore's investments. But at Gore's age of 69, he's probably more concerned with his legacy related to global warming and climate change, rather than worrying about accumulating even more money.
[Featured Image by Nielson Barnard/Getty Images]