Jeff Greene has made no secret of his ostentatious wealth: He owns three private jets, lived (until recently) in a Beverly Hills mansion called the Palazzo Di Amore and hangs out with celebrities like Mike Tyson, Heidi Fleiss and Lindsay Lohan. However, his yacht is the focus of a St. Petersburg Times story today; the piece details how the 145-foot Summerwind damaged a fragile coral reef recognized by the U.N. off the coast of Belize in 2005 after it anchored there. Greene was not on the boat at the time, but the damage caused $1.87 million in fines that remain unpaid since the boat has not gone back into Belize’s territory.
The part only mentioned in passing is the boat’s fuel consumption. According to a Forbes 400 profile of Greene in 2008, the yacht consumes about 50 gallons of fuel an hour and costs $100,000 to fill up. Greene boasted about the boat to the magazine:
Whatever the product, that’s the kind of market Greene likes. “I bought it,” he says, gesturing to his yacht, “six years ago from a guy in Singapore during the SARS crisis. I paid $6 million, and it would have cost $20 million new.” That takes the sting out of the fact that the 350-ton vessel costs $100,000 to fill with fuel and burns 50 gallons per hour. (“Don’t print that! It’s a bigger carbon footprint than we’d like to have,” Greene cautions.)
Despite the boat’s “carbon footprint,” Greene on his campaign website wants to end America’s dependence on foreign oil as U.S. senator:
It is ridiculous that after more than 30 years of talking about it, America is still dependent on foreign oil. According to the National Resources Defense Council we spend more than $200,000 a minute on foreign oil. This amounts to a huge foreign transfer each year – often to our enemies. We must end our dependence on foreign oil and become the leader in the technologies of the 21st century. This is an incredible opportunity to create jobs, end our dependence on foreign oil once and for all, and solve our climate crisis.
Calculating the boat’s fuel consumption with diesel fuel at $3.40/gallon (the yacht’s tank holds 22,721 gallons), the boat costs $170 an hour to run. The boat last weekend traveled to Nantucket, Mass., reported the Times, “to crash a meeting of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee where only his Democratic rival, Kendrick Meek, had been invited to speak.”