Business Impact

Koch Industries’ Plant Closure Will Leave Most Workers Unemployed

Most of the workers at a shuttering Georgia-Pacific plant are facing unemployment at the end of the year due to Koch Industries most recent cuts. Koch subsidiary, Georgia-Pacific, announced the closure of its Dixie Plant in Parchment, Michigan on Friday. The Kochs’ move is a devastating loss to the city as it was the last remaining paper producer in the town nick-named “Paper City” for the many paper companies it once was home to. Parchment Mayor Rob Heasley said he was shocked by the move since he believed the plant was doing well.

The impending closure is a stark reminder — while the Koch brothers gear up to spend nearly $900 million picking a conservative Republican and try to buy the White House, they have a long history of destroying livelihoods and families. The historic closing is just the Kochs’ latest maneuver to increase Georgia-Pacific’s profits. In Michigan, the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity is 

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 […]

Koch carbon takes over downtown Green Bay

A Koch Industries subsidiary, C. Reiss Coal, is wreaking havoc in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The mineral transport company produces enormous coal piles that have monopolized part of the downtown waterfront for over ten years. A Wisconsin county commissioner is pushing for a study to measure the potentially deleterious health effects of the dust buildup that has become menace to the facility’s neighbors.

Green Bay Mayor, Jim Schmitt, said, “We thought maybe they’d get out of this business, but they’re committed to (it) … I would like nothing more for them to self-relocate (but at a cost of) of at least $20 million, it’s not going to happen in the next four years.”

Unsurprisingly, a spokesman for the facility said they have no plans to move the piles.

This is not the first time Koch Industries has jeopardized the health of it’s neighbors. Over […]

The Koch brothers want you to think they’re being noble

Today, Charles Koch co-authored a Politico piece titled “The Overcriminalization of America.” For the Koch brothers, it’s just the latest move in their most recent political pet project, having spent the last few months touting criminal justice reform. With around 2.4 million people incarcerated in the United States, including a disproportionate number of minorities, that seems like a noble mission, right?

It would be, if only their motivations weren’t so dishonorable. The Koch brothers’ “come to Jesus” moment didn’t arise over the problems they saw with the criminal justice system; it came after Koch Industries and employees came under scrutiny from law enforcement in the course of their work. They didn’t like the scrutiny, and they’ve been donating hundreds of thousands of dollars every year since 2004 to reform the criminal justice system. Supporting groups like this was simply a business decision for them, not a moral one.

The Koch brothers claim they aren’t trying to make this a political issue and that this […]

Federal judge with ties to Kochs rules in Scott Walker’s favor

Enforcement of campaign finance laws in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin is the ultimate nursery tale gone bad, with the fox guarding the henhouse at every turn. Case in point: a federal judge with ties to the Koch brothers ruled yesterday that outside groups, like the many organizations receiving Koch funding, can legally coordinate on “issue advocacy” with political campaigns, like that of Koch favorite Governor Scott Walker.

Given that Walker faces an ongoing John Doe investigation into potential illegal coordination of efforts with outside groups during the 2012 recall election, it was hardly a surprise when his Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen, declined to represent the state’s Government Accountability Board in a lawsuit challenging the coordination rule. The lawsuit was argued before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa, who issued an injunction yesterday overturning the Wisconsin state law banning coordination between political campaigns and “independent” political groups, provided that the groups […]

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 […]

To the Surprise of No One, Kochs Spend Big to Buy Access to Republican Governors

The New York Times reported yesterday that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government and ethics watchdog group, uncovered a treasure trove of documents exposing the major corporate donors to the Republican Governors Association. Names on the list include Walmart, Exxon Mobil, and – yep, you guessed it – Koch Companies Public Sector, a.k.a. Koch Industries’ lobbying arm.

While that isn’t surprising, it does shed some light on just what the Kochs and their big-money pals are trying to buy: golf outings, policy breakfasts, secret donor meetings, an “intimate gathering” with Republican governors and Republican VIPs (whatever that means), and the Republican governors’ ears. In short: Access. Influence. Sway.

These donors would be model residents in Kochville, the Koch brothers’ self-serving utopia where horrible things like the minimum wage, social security, and environmental protections don’t exist. And, for the low, low price of $100,000 – or two easy payments of $50,000 – […]

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 […]

Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has a good thing going on with the Kochs. As we previously wrote, much to the delight of the Kochs, Abbott actually acted to limit standards for public chemical disclosure even in the wake of the deadly explosion in West, Texas.

And Wayne Slater of Dallas Morning News reported that the move came after massive contributions from the fertilizer industry who stands to benefit from the relaxed chemical rules. Donations that included $75,000 from the Kochs, including $25,000 from Charles Koch’s son, Chase, who heads the fertilizer division of Koch Industries.

The Kochs have proven time and time again that they really don’t care about how people’s safety is affected by the work of their oil conglomerate, so long as they are maximizing profits. In fact, according to Daniel Shulman’s book, Sons of Wichita, a former Koch Industries […]

Paid for by American Bridge 21st Century Foundation