The Kochs have found a new frontier for their crusade against renewable energy: Ohio. Throughout their careers, the Koch brothers have fought against standards that would stand to lessen their massive oil profits. Now, their political arm, Americans for Prosperity, is trying to halt renewable energy standards in Ohio.
Bloomberg reports that companies like Honda Motor Co. have said the standards are working, and that, according to a research scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, “the estimated burden of meeting the mandates in 2010, 2011 and 2012 was less than 1 percent of the customer’s bill each year.” Moreover, freezing these standards would bring Ohio’s booming renewable industry to a screeching halt, potentially sending billions in planned projects to other states.
The Kochs’ AFP has already tried the same stunt in their home state of Kansas, where they and their allies spent over $300,000 trying to repeal renewable energy standards to no avail. And AFP-Iowa has railed against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). For the Kochs, these are just a few more small investments in bulking up their own pockets.
Americans for Prosperity and Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance Spent More Than $300,000 Trying to Repeal Kansas Renewable Energy Standards. According to the Kansas City Star: Americans for Prosperity and the Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance spent more than $300,000 trying to repeal the standards this legislative session. The Wind Coalition and Wind Works for Kansas spent about $60,000. The Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance raised eyebrows at the Capitol because its lobbyist was a former state director for AFP. The group was founded by the sister of Ivan Crossland, chairman of the conservative-leaning Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Americans for Prosperity ran a mass media campaign trying to tap into President Obama’s unpopularity in Kansas by comparing the green energy mandate to Obamacare. [The Kansas City Star, 5/20/14]
AFP-Iowa Attacked The “Ethanol Lobby” And Criticized Renewable Fuel Standards As “Bad For All Other Businesses And American Consumers.” According to a press release from Americans for Prosperity – Iowa, “The ethanol lobby has been raising a ruckus lately, blaming ‘Big Oil’ for supposedly launching a smear campaign against the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that brings them so much business. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that Americans are starting to wake up to the high costs that the RFS imposes on businesses and consumers alike, harming the American economy at the worst possible time. The RFS is a federal program that mandates energy producers to blend renewable fuels such as ethanol into every gallon of gasoline. The current standard calls for fuel makers to blend 10 percent ethanol into every gallon of fuel produced. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now increasing the mandate, encouraging producers to increase its blending of ethanol to 15 percent per gallon through its E15 program. While this federal encouragement may boost the ethanol lobby’s profits, it’s bad for all other businesses and American consumers.” [Americans For Prosperity – Iowa Press Release, 7/8/13]