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New Report on “Decade of Dirty Secrets” by the Carlyle Group, Where Glenn Youngkin Was a Top Executive for Years, Finds Firm a Disaster for Climate, Environmental Justice


As we know, Glenn Youngkin spent much of his adult life (from 1995 through 2020) with private-equity-firm the Carlyle Group, where he amassed a fortune and “racked up bad bets” and “flamed out” before being ousted and moving into politics. For more on Youngkin and the Carlyle Group, see:

Anyway, that’s what Youngkin did for 25 years before deciding to run for governor of Virginia (after being ousted in a power struggle at Carlyle). Now, a new report is out this morning –  written by the Private Equity Climate Risks project, “an initiative centered on investigating the role of the private equity industry in the climate crisis” – looking closely at Caryle’s “decade of dirty secrets” (when Youngkin was a top executive at the firm). Among the key findings of the report are:

  • “…in the upstream sector, Carlyle and NGP’s carbon footprint is massive and growing, despite calls by the International Energy Agency, Carbon Tracker Initiative, and others to transition away from upstream investments as our planet moves towards a clean energy future.”
  • “Over the past decade, we estimate that Carlyle’s comprehensive annual GHG emissions—including emissions from upstream, midstream, and downstream sources—had a compound annual growth rate of 95 percent per year (Figure 1), totaling an estimated 277 million metric tons of CO2e. It would take 4.6 billion newly planted trees ten years to remove that much carbon.”
  • “An analysis of Carlyle’s full portfolio of holdings reveals that the firm is one of the largest owners of gas-fired power capacity in the US.”
  • Carlyle currently owns just over 1,300 MW of renewable generation capacity across solar, wind, and hydro categories. Meanwhile, Carlyle’s fossil fuel generation capacity maxed out for the decade at just under 10,000 MW in 2021—all of which was gas-powered
  • “In addition to the climate impacts, a disproportionate share of the localized public health costs of Carlyle backed fossil fuel assets will be borne by communities already marginalized by the ravages of climate change and environmental pollution…At least 18 of Carlyle’s 19 facilities, or 95 percent, raise at least one EPA or environmental justice concern.”

In short, the Carlyle Group – the firm Glenn Youngkin played a major role in for 25 years – is a climate disaster, heavily invested in dirty fossil fuels, harmful in terms of environmental justice, etc. Keep that in mind as you consider Youngkin’s energy/environmental policies, and his governorship/political career more broadly.


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