Tom Steyer

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  Tom Steyer, the billionaire who poured more than $70 million into an effort to make climate change a top issue in the 2014 elections, was back in the Granite State Friday.

He toured Conner Bottling Works in Newfields, a soda-maker which covered its roof in solar panels.

“Why come all the way from California to New Hampshire?” he said in response to a reporter’s question during a round-table, which elicited chuckles from the crowd.

“Other than the beautiful day, the great business and the charming people, is that your question?” he joked.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  Environmental issues have never ranked high on the list of issues that drive most voters to the polls. But this year, Tom Steyer – a former hedge fund manager and billionaire – has pledged to spend $50 million dollars in a few key races around the country, hoping to make climate change a central issue. This spending begs a question: can talking about global warming actually win elections?

Steyer’s operation in New Hampshire, NextGen Climate, has 24 full-time staff, and 5 field offices with two more slated to open in the coming weeks.