RFS: Good For Iowa, Bad For The Kochs, Who Will The GOP Side With?

One of the best examples of the Koch brothers’ self-interest is their longstanding, heavily-funded opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard. While the RFS is good for Iowa’s economy and the environment, the Kochs oppose it because it threatens their own oil profits.

Today, as Hillary Clinton announces her support for strengthening the RFS, will Republicans do what’s right for Iowa and support the RFS or will they listen to the Kochs in hopes they get a piece of the $900 million the brothers are planning to spend on this election?

Earlier this year, Bridge Project’s report, “The Importance of Buying Ernst: Why The Kochs Go Wilde Lobbying the Hawkeye State,” outlined just how far the Kochs have gone to end the RFS — despite overwhelming support from Iowans. 

From the report

KOCH HAS LOBBIED AGAINST THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD AND BIODIESEL FUEL STANDARDS TO PROTECT THEIR OIL INTERESTS IN IOWA

Koch Lobbyists Opposed Iowa Bill To […]

What The Kochs Consider “Common Sense” Means More Health Risks For Americans

Increased risk of asthma attack, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and, yes, premature death: These are some of the adverse health effects that the EPA cites in their call for mercury emissions regulations. But the Kochs continually disregard health risks to protect their profits.

In 2012, according to the U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, Koch Companies Public Sector – the lobbying arm of the brothers’ corporate empire – spent three out of four quarters lobbying on a resolution for the Senate to formally disapprove of the EPA’s MATS standards. So it comes as no surprise that the Koch-allied think tank, the Cato Institute, spiked the proverbial football after the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA’s MATS emission regulations in State of Michigan vs. EPA today.

In their press release Cato says the Supreme Court’s decision is a “clear victory for common sense.” How convenient that “common sense” rules in favor of their billionaire benefactors as well as the amicus brief that Cato submitted on Michigan’s behalf.

Rand Paul redefines sucking up to Koch brothers

Rand Paul pulled one of the biggest suck-ups of all time when he said, “the Kochs have consistently lobbied against special-interest politics,” in his lavish praise of the Koch brothers in TIME. Rand either doesn’t understand the definition of “special interest” or ignored the Koch brothers’ long history of being “takers,” not “makers” as Paul Ryan would say — redefining special interest politics in the process.

As everyone knows, the Kochs might not walk the halls of Congress themselves, but they plan to spend $889 million to buy the 2016 election and employ an army of political operatives to strong-arm the Republican Party. One by one, Republican presidential candidates, governors, senators and House members are signing onto the Kochs’ extreme worldview: Tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate America, eliminating the minimum wage, slashing Medicare and dismantling Social Security, and opposition to safe air and water standards, to name a few.

The Koch […]

Chris Christie’s environmental flip flop brought to you by the Koch brothers

Chris Christie once bragged that he would be “New Jersey’s No. 1 clean-energy advocate,” according to the Washington Post. But once he had a series of meetings with the Koch brothers and other Republican donors, he changed his mind and went to work on behalf of the Koch’s fossil fuel interests rather than the people of New Jersey.

Christie went back on a pledge he made to his state so he could remain in good graces with the Koch brothers. In 2010, he touted plans to build a wind farm off the Atlantic City coast. Soon after, the Koch brothers came calling and Christie began fighting wind energy proposals. Unfortunately for Christie, ignoring New Jersey has left him in “political free fall” back home – and unpopular on the national stage as his pre-presidential campaign sputters.

The Koch brothers have a long history with Chris Christie. Last year, his Board […]

Koch-backed governor forbids the Department of Environmental Protection from doing its job

Florida Governor Rick Scott has come up with a fool-proof plan for dealing with climate change: ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

According to officials at the agency, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, ostensibly in charge of studying and preparing for the impacts of climate change, is reportedly forbidden from using the terms“climate change” and ”global warming.”

The ban went into effect after Scott took office in 2011. Although Scott denies that he was the one to issue the gag order, historically he has refused to acknowledge the reality of man-made climate change even after a group of Florida scientists sat him down and explained it to him.

Former DEP employees claim they were told never to use either of those terms “in any official communications, emails or reports,” because “we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact.”

This […]

New Walker Appointee Teamed Up With AFP To Support Solar Energy Cost Hikes

This week, Bloomberg Politics dubbed Scott Walker the “King of Kochworld.” The article chronicled his deep and long-established ties to the Koch brothers’ network and their support for the ultra-conservative makeover he’s given the state of Wisconsin. It’s a love affair that could pay big dividends for Walker, as he looks to become the beneficiary of a large chunk of the eye-popping $889 million they’ve promised to spend this cycle.

Well, Walker is living up to his regal title. This week, his administration announced a number positional of shakeups, including the appointment of a gentleman named Scott Neitzel to run Wisconsin’s Department of Administration. According to the Wisconsin DOA website, their ultimate goal is to “offer Wisconsin residents the most efficient, highest-quality state government services possible.”

But in Neitzel’s previous role, as an executive at Madison Gas and Electric, he was hardly fighting for his new constituents. Instead, Madison Gas and Electric was teaming up with Americans For Prosperity, fighting to protect profits for Big Oil and petrochemical companies like Koch Industries at the expense of solar energy users. The coalition was pushing for legislation to hike fees and increase regulations on customers who produced their own solar power.

From personnel moves to policy pushes, Scott Walker’s motives are clear — the only constituents he’s looking out for are the ones he reigns over in Kochworld.

What Grinches Would Cause an End to Flights to the North Pole?

Frontier Airlines is ending its season flights to Fairbanks, and it’s all the Koch brothers’ fault. Actually though.
 
According to KTUU, “A spokeswoman for Fairbanks International Airport says the airline cited the closure of the Flint Hills Resources refinery in North Pole and higher fuel costs as a major factor in the decision. Flint Hills ended production in May.”

 
Flint Hills, a Koch Industries subsidiary, came under fire after closing their North Pole refinery in February, killing 80 jobs and facing accusations of violating environmental standards. And Alaska continues to pay the price for the Koch brothers’ self-interested decision to close the refinery — from the toxic groundwater they left behind, to increased costs on road construction. Frontier flights to Fairbanks are the latest victim.
 
The Koch brothers continue to bankroll ads attacking Dan Sullivan’s opponent in their attempt to buy him a Senate seat. What he needs is an airplane […]

Koch Subsidiary In AK Pays $80k To Settle Mishandled Hazardous Waste Accusations

A Koch Industries subsidiary, Flint Hills, has already made some unsavory headlines in Alaska. That’s because they decided in February to close their refinery in North Pole, AK — killing over 80 jobs — rather than meet environmental standards and pay for groundwater cleanup.

It’s hardly a surprising sequence of events. The Flint Hills episode is consistent with the Kochs’ mantra of money over all else, and their disregard for environmental safety has been well documented, including by former Koch Industries managers.

Now, Flint Hills has agreed to pay the $80,000 in a settlement over accusations of mishandling hazardous waste. Here’s what happened in this specific incident, as described by Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

After filtering groundwater, Flint Hills disposed of the used filters in an open trash bin at the site. The filters soon “self ignited” inside the bins, according to an EPA complaint, requiring a response from the North Pole Fire Department to extinguish two fires.

Meanwhile the Kochs are […]

REPORT: Legacy of Loss: Koch Industries’ Layoffs and Environmental Harm in Battleground States

It’s no secret that the billionaire Koch brothers’ top priority is continuing to grow their massive fortune, no matter what it takes. Their oil conglomerate, Koch Industries, is the second largest privately held corporation in America, and states across the country are feeling the impacts of their activities. Koch Industries and its subsidiaries own facilities in 35 states across the country, including battleground states like Iowa, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina — states where the Republican candidates are closely tied to the Koch brothers. These states have been subject to job loss, significant environmental damage, or both, at the hands of the Kochs’ business empire.

This report provides a breakdown of the impact Koch Industries has had on key states. The Kochs’ extreme, self-serving agenda is bad for working families. And that reality is starkly embodied not only by their political persuasions, but by their business endeavors.

Read the full […]

Beauprez stumps for the Koch brothers in Denver

With their billions coming from the fossil fuel industry, the Koch brothers’ opposition to environmental regulations is both predictable and well-documented. Yesterday, Americans for Prosperity Colorado, the Kochs’ political arm in the state, held a rally in Denver opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed power plant emissions regulations that protect children and families from health problems like asthma.

AFP Colorado was joined at the rally by former Congressman and candidate for governor, Bob Beauprez. Singing from the Koch song sheet, Beauprez criticized these common sense protections for families while lauding companies like Koch industries. Exactly what AFP and the Kochs — whose company is ranked 14th in the country in air pollution — want to hear.

The Koch brothers and AFP are aiming to elevate Beauprez, in service of their mission to push Colorado to the far right. For his part, Beauprez’s […]

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