Koch Industries Spending Big Money to Block Climate Legislation

Ever heard of the Koch brothers? Neither had I until I heard about some of the awful things they’re using their money to try to accomplish. I’ll get to that in the rant part of my post, below (it’s so hard to resist).

The basics are that Koch Industries is a private energy conglomerate based in Kansas and run by brothers David and Charles. They work with oil, chemicals, fertilizers, etc. They are notorious for their political contributions, particularly to free market groups and lobbying to support the fossil fuel industry. While damaging to many environmental causes, their activities have so far not been made very public. But they are about to get much, much worse.

In a perfectly horrific example of the ability of corporations to now contribute at will to political campaigns, Politico reported that the Koch Brothers plan to contribute $88 million to conservative causes in 2012.

So what does that look like? Well, the LA Times reports that the Koch Brothers are now officially a huge influence in the new GOP. The clearest example, they report, is in the House Energy and Commerce Committee — made up of members who were beneficiaries of Koch Industries

This does not bode well for energy and environmental legislation, particularly any bill aimed at slowing climate change. Greenpeace reports that the Koch brothers donated $48 million between 1997 and 2008 to groups that oppose or deny climate change, and often groups who attempt to circulate faulty science as evidence. Great. Just what we need – more climate deniers with money.

And it doesn’t stop there. Koch has sued activists who released a letter pretending to come from Koch, they have been reported to have closed-door meetings with Tea Party leaders, and they have funded many a campaign against Obama policies, from Health Care to economic stimulus. Treehugger has also reported that their subsidiaries generate an estimated 300 million tons of carbon emissions per year. So, by blocking climate legislation, they’re trying to keep themselves rich, obviously.

We’ll need to keep our eyes on these guys. With the unfortunate ruling that corporations may contribute to politics as much as they want, there isn’t a lot of legal leverage there. But if they continue to attempt to block climate change legislation with money, they will be hearing from many groups across the country, including the Care2 community.

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Related Stories: 

Koch Brothers Decide It’s Time to Hit Back

Progressives Rally Against Koch Bros

Washington’s “Do ABSOLUTELY Nothing on Climate” Bills

Photo courtesy of Treehugger.com


Robert Taylor
Robbie Taylor6 years ago


Charity B.
Charity Baker7 years ago

just to clarify - Soros donated to, but did NOT start Move on. It truly grew as a grass roots org. after being started on a very small scale by Wes Boyd & Joan Blades. They encouraged congress to "censure" Pres. Clinton and then "move on" to our country's important issues.

Karen F.
karen Friedman7 years ago

The Koch brothers are evil at best, out ot destroy the world one breath at a time. Boycott their products and of course Fox, who loves them dearly.

John E.
John E7 years ago

Nancy Dodson
Thanks for the quick primer on George Soros ... he's a refreshing change from the usual type of billionaire , better represented by the likes of Murdoch and Koch brothers ...
To supporters of these individuals, I would ask
"What have they ever done for this world?"

Tana Williams
Tana Williams7 years ago

And their father was a co-founder of the John Birch Society. You know, the one that fought so hard to keep Jim Crow laws.
To the ignorant: climate change is real, we are in part responsible for it, and the so called "Climate Gate" accusations were proved to be totally false, much as the ACORN thing and the recent Planned Parenthood, in which both, the videos were editted to make what was filmed look terrible. The truth is, what they claimed was totally false, just another propaganda lie. The reason the Koch multi-billionaire bros are so against "clean" is because it would cut into the billions they make every year.

john hall
john hall7 years ago

Steven B. i may not agree with you alot but on there 2 brother's they make me sick to know that there are competitors . we try hard to keep are plant safe and clean .

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer7 years ago

Koch brothers will understand only one thing and that is a hit to their bottom line. The following is a short list of well known products produced by Koch Insutries and it's subsidiaries:

Georgia Pacific paper and pulp company, maker of Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper, Mardi Gras napkins and towels and Quilted Northern toilet paper.

Invista, a fiber and resin company that makes Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra fiber, among other products.

Koch Pipeline Company LP, that owns and operates 4,000 miles of pipeline used to transport oil, natural gas liquids and chemicals.

Flint Hill Resources LP, that operates oil refineries in six states and has interests in a Belgian plant.

Maybe we should start a class action suit against the Koch brothers, their puppet Dick Armey and their biggest cheerleader FOX Noise. They have done enough damage to every man, woman and child in America and they are still trying to kill the middle class and every department of government in DC that has been set up for the Welfare of the multitude, not for the entertainment of the few. I would give more than I should for the slim chance the Echo Chamber of Lies might finally be silenced and Muirdoch sent slithering back to the Aussie outback from whence he crawled.

Nancy Dodson
Nancy Dodson7 years ago

Ok Patricia, I just read the link on George Soros that you gave me. As soon as I saw it was writtem by a Christian Conservative my antennae went up. They usually do hatchet jobs on anybody who doesn't agree with them but I am a seeker of the truth so I read it with an open mind. It sounded rather extreme to me but I decided to go to my best friend Google and check out some other posts on him.

Here's what I found out. He has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations that point out lies in news reports, TV, newspapers and the internet. He is the founder of MoveOn.Org that I am a member of. I think it's a great organization or I wouldn't belong to it.

He is especially critical of George Bush and his various policies and the unnecessary war. Me to! He is expecially critical of Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, the lies of Glenn Beck and the rest of that crew. Me too! He also financially supports causes supporting free speech and truth in the press. If I was rich I would too.

All in all, he sounds like a pretty good guy to me. Probably not perfect, but I'm not either. I like him.

I think the patterns are clear here. You will hate him, I kinda like him. So be it!

Christopher C.
Chris C7 years ago

Pierre & Mike N...in regards to your comment that just because we had a cold and stormy winter doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I was watching the news during the height of the snow storms, and it was said due to the melting and shrinking polar ice cap...the circle around the top of the earth where the ice cap is normally keeps the cold air currents up in that area of the planet. But due to the shrinking of it, it's allowing the arctic air to dip down into the lower and middle hemispheres, hence the more colder and stormy weather deeper down into the US. I'll try to find the news link I saw on our local news and post the link.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago

I think the DOJ should investigate the Koch brothers. Based on what? My gut.