Profit Margins And The Koch Bros.’ Climate Change Contrarianism

August 13, 2015

The Koch brothers, climate change deniers extraordinaire, have a long history of bolstering climate change denying candidates and groups, and opposing environmental regulations, while simultaneously advocating increased regulatory regimes on alternative energy industries.

Dangling the carrot that is the $889 million they plan to spend in the 2016 elections, the Kochs have already “successfully persuaded many elected officials — including presidential hopefuls Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul — to sign a pledge that would ‘oppose any regulation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue,'”according to NPR.

The Kochs’ climate change denial isn’t ideological — it isn’t about disputing the scientific consensus.

It’s not about questioning the indisputable facts of global warming, either — it’s about protecting the profit margins of their pollutant-expelling business interests.

The numbers speak for themselves. NPR’s Lauren Leatherby reports on  a University of Massachusetts Amherst study that says it all:

Climate change policy could negatively affect Koch Industries’ earnings — the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute found that Koch Industries ranked among the top 30 companies for CO2 emissions in the United States in 2011.

That’s right, Koch Industries ranks in the top 30 for CO2 emissions in the entire United States — “could negatively affect” is quite the understatement.

The motivation behind the Kochs’ environmental regulation contrarianism is clear. The question is: Are they actively working to protect their interests?

And the answer? Yes, absolutely.

In the last year, Koch Industries spent $13.7 million on oil and gas lobbying — making it the top spender (!) on lobbying in that issue area, according to NPR.

We hardly need more evidence that the Koch brothers’ sole motivation in any of their advocacy is protecting their bottom line — but here it is, one more instance where the Kochs have prioritized their business interests over the welfare of the American public.

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation