When he’s not busy being charged with federal securities fraud or state securities fraud, Texas AG Ken Paxton likes to spend his time shilling for the Koch brothers. This week, he joined in the Kochs never ending fight against climate change activism. According to Reuters, “Paxton asked a state judge on Monday to block U.S. Virgin Islands officials from subpoenaing 40 years of internal climate change documents from Exxon Mobil Corp, saying the probe is ‘a fishing expedition of the worst kind.'”
Big oil and the Kochs go hand in hand and there’s no doubt that the brothers would look kindly on Paxton’s decision. For years they’ve attempted to skew the public’s conception by pushing anti-climate change propaganda. Preventing the U.S. Virgin Islands from revealing the truth, perhaps that Exxon and even the Kochs have “misled investors and the public about the risks of climate change” is the best interest of their bottom lines.
Just yesterday, the Koch-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute asked the D.C. Superior Court to fine U.S. Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker for threatening to subpoena CEI documents related to their climate denial.
Not convinced that Paxton is thinking of the Kochs first?
In 2014, the Koch brothers donated $10,000 to elect Paxton. Less than a year after taking office, Paxton appeared to get a big and seriously strange win involving Koch Pipeline Company. More than 16 years after the Koch company spilled 24,700 gallons of oil into a creek leading to the San Antonio River, they finally agreed to settle the case, paying a $770,000 clean up fine, according to The Texas Tribune:
Though severe enough to harm local wildlife, the incident may not be remarkable in a state that sees hundreds of oil spills — large and tiny — each year, and has dealt with the messy aftermath of BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion. But the gaping time lag between the pollution and penalty befuddled some legal experts.
“It’s extremely weird,” Jim Bradbury, a Fort Worth-based lawyer who focuses on environmental and energy issues. “Seventeen years is almost unexplainable to me.”
Whether the Kochs brokered a deal to boost Paxton’s career or not is still to be seen, but it hardly seems out of the realm of possibilities.
By now, Paxton is perfectly in their pockets, ready to play puppet whenever it best suits them — like when the reality of climate change and big oil is about to be revealed. Once again, the Kochs are using their political machine to rig the system and boost their bottom line.