To Protect Profits, Kochs Push Cuts To Environmental Infrastructure Funding

April 28, 2016

A number of Koch groups just rallied behind a now-failed amendment from Arizona Senator Jeff Flake that would have “cut almost $69 million in funding from Corps of Engineers projects, such as building environmental restoration projects and dredging rivers and harbors.”

Flake touted that the amendment had the backing of a number of (unsurprisingly, right-wing) groups, including the Koch-linked or backed 60 Plus Association, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, National Taxpayers UnionAmericans for Tax ReformCouncil for Citizens Against Government Waste, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Here’s why the Kochs are so interested in stifling environmental infrastructure spending: they’re opposed to just about anything that will help to combat the effects of climate change. The Kochs have been staunch opponents of solar power and they’ve also been deeply involved in the fossil fuel industry’s war on efforts to limit greenhouse […]

NEW REPORT: “The Kochs Spend Tons of Cheddar Badgering America’s Dairyland”

April 27, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CONTACT
Dawn Le, 202-549-6798, dle@americanbridge.org

The Kochs Have Spent At Least $44 Million to Hijack Wisconsin
Bridge Project Releases “The Kochs Spend Tons of Cheddar Badgering America’s Dairyland” about the Koch Brothers’ Corporate Lobbying and Political Front Groups in Their Effort to Maximize Profits

Milwaukee, WI—For the 2016 election cycle, Charles and David Koch have announced they are on track to spend nearly $900 million to elect politicians that would push their self-serving agenda. In Wisconsin, the Koch brothers have spent more than $44 million since 2010, helping to foster the rise of Gov. Scott Walker, Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson, and to fund political astroturf groups to carry their water.

“What the Kochs are doing in Wisconsin is emblematic of what they’re doing across the country, all their political efforts and PR shams boil down to self-interest and higher profit shares,” said Eddie Vale, the […]

“Seniors” Front Group Blatantly Peddling the Koch Brothers’ Agenda

April 20, 2016

According to 60 Plus Association‘s 2016 Q1 Lobbying Disclosure Report, there are a lot of strange things this “seniors” group is lobbying for:

Support of off-shore drilling legislation
Support for Domestic Energy Exploration
Support access to oil and natural gas reserves in all areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf
Support for energy independence
Support for Keystone Pipeline
Support CURB Lifeline Act of 2016
Oppose extending expiring renewable energy provisions related to FAA reauthorization
Support for Puerto Rico bondholders who have invested in Puerto Rico bonds
Opposition to resurrecting the Export Import Bank

Seniors are worried about their health care, social security, and retirement–not whether oil and gas billionaires are getting a fair break.

But that’s not what 60 Plus Association is focused on. Could it have anything to do with the tens of million of dollars the Koch brothers have given to this front group to distort issues, run attack ads, and mislead senior voters?

Very likely.

Notorious For Distorting The Issues And […]

Koch Business Practices Artificially Boost Energy Prices, Hurting Consumers

April 18, 2016

Last week, Koch Industries came out in support of a proposal under consideration by the Public Utility Commission of Texas that would artificially inflate the cost of electricity during times of greater demand. While claiming that the change is needed to increase grid reliability, the true motivation for the proposal is clear: power prices are at 14-year lows, keeping electricity generators from pocketing stronger profits. 

The Houston Chronicle’s “Fuel Fix” blog notes that, “Texas already has healthy power reserves, so the additional market would pass on more costs to consumers.” Furthermore, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas noted that the change is both unnecessary and would increase costs for consumers. The proposal seeks to haunt Texans with the specter of an extremely unlikely grid-collapse as a distraction from the true motive of the proposition–to inflate costs and drive profits. 

The Kochs have a long history of employing business practices that artificially […]

A Koch-Owned Paper Plant In Arkansas Is Poisoning People

April 13, 2016

Newsweek reports how Koch-owned Georgia Pacific paper plant in Crossett, Arkansas is under investigation for polluting the surrounding area’s water and air, and local residents now blame it for the high rates of cancer and health problems in the town.

In a recent WSJ interview with Koch Industries’ Environment, Health, and Safety Director Sheryl Corrigan when asked about the company’s EPA violations, her response:

 

MS. CORRIGAN: We are not perfect. But I will tell you that when we do have issues, or when we do have incidents, we try to do our best to meet the expectations of the folks that we serve as customers and in our communities. And we try to learn from them.

Not in Crossett. The company ran a door-to-door campaign to try to bribe families to release the company from any responsibility of people’s property damage, injury, or health.

Yet, the Kochs continue to push […]

Kochs Call In The Cavalry To Kill Renewable Energy Tax Relief

April 11, 2016

The Koch network has set its sights on opposing any extension of renewable energy tax credits in the FAA re-authorization bill. It’s not surprising to anyone, given affordable clean energy competes with Koch Industries’ key holdings in oil, shale development, and hydraulic fracturing technologies. But what is surprising is how the Kochs have called in the cavalry to stop this amendment.

Americans For Prosperity has been especially active in their opposition, “strongly leaning” toward issuing a “Key Vote Alert” in an attempt to coerce subservient House Republicans into voting against the must-pass FAA legislation. AFP has also taken to social media to flippantly dismiss incentives for clean energy.

​In addition to AFP, other Koch groups with no discernible interest in energy policy, such as Concerned Veterans for America, 60 Plus Association, and The LIBRE Initiative, all signed onto the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s letter calling on the […]

With Anti-Environmental Pitch, Gianforte Proves He’s The Kochs’ Through And Through

March 11, 2016

Montana gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte has President Obama’s environmental rules in his cross-hairs. On Thursday, the Republican said he wants to “wrangle up” the president’s Clean Power Plan if he takes office.

According to E&E News,

Gianforte’s targets include federal sage grouse conservation plans, U.S. EPA’s Clean Water Rule and one Obama administration regulation he can’t bring himself to call by its formal name: “The Costly Power Plan” is Gianforte’s term for the Clean Power Plan, the president’s attempt to limit carbon emissions from the power sector.

Gianforte’s opposition to the regulations falls perfectly in line with the Koch brothers’ agenda. In November, Americans for Prosperity published a press release that similarly challenged Governor Steve Bullock for implementing President Obama’s climate change rules. Gianforte is literally following in their footsteps — predictable since he’s a handpicked Koch candidate.

The climate change deniers have used their dark money channels to stealthily back the […]

Nazis, the Ryan budget, blackmail & more: 5 big pieces of news in new Koch book preview

January 12, 2016

The NY Times got an early copy of Jane Mayer’s new book on the Kochs, Dark Money, and even in the short preview there’s some big news — the Kochs’ ties to the Nazis, blackmail within the brothers, bankrolling an effort to make the Ryan budget “more palatable,” and more. Check out five big pieces of news below, read the full NY Times piece here, and stay tuned for more from the new book next week.

1. Charles and David Koch’s father, Fred Koch’s, early business success has roots in Nazi Germany (and Stalin’s Soviet Union, too). Earlier this year, Charles highlighted his commitment to advancing his father’s values and touted that he hangs a portrait of him and letter from him in in his office. Don’t miss the Washington Post’s addition of the “fervent Nazi” governess that cared for the older Koch brothers when they were children. 

 

“It’s A Big Victory”: Kochs Win On Omnibus

December 18, 2015

“It’s a big victory.” That’s Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips’s assessment of the omnibus budget legislation that lifts the oil export ban and delivers a number of other big wins for Charles and David Koch.

The $1.1-trillion budget deal is chock-full of Koch agenda items, dutifully packed in by their bought-and-paid-for Koch candidates and shepherded through by their speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. The biggest win for Charles and David is the bill’s provision to lift the oil export ban — something the two billionaires have spent the last forty years lobbying for. Yes, since 1975. And despite what they’ve claimed over the years, it was not a selfless, ideological campaign. One of their employees admitted just this week that lifting the ban would be good for their business.

Other omnibus gifts for the Kochs include:

An EPA budget freeze. (More pollution, less oversight.)
A provision blocking new political spending disclosure requirements. (This […]

The Adelsons Are In The House, But Tonight Will Be A Koch Show

December 16, 2015

Tonight’s GOP-candidates-sucking-up-to-donors narrative will center on the GOP field’s efforts to woo GOP mega-donor and Venetian hotel owner Sheldon Adelson. It makes sense: It’s Adelson’s home turf and he’ll be right there in the audience. And there’s no question the various candidates — Marco Rubio, in particular — are very much trying to win his favor.

But each and every candidate is equally — probably more so — eager to win Charles and David Koch’s backing — and they’ll be doing their best to show the billionaire brothers that they deserve their network’s $900 million support.

Or every candidate but one, that is. Donald Trump — the guy whose very appeal among voters rests in the fact that “he can’t be bought” — is the one candidate who won’t be up there pandering to Adelson and the Kochs tonight. Trump’s candidacy and absolute dominance is keeping Charles and David up at night, because they know they can’t pressure […]

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