KOCH BLOCK: How Koch Brother Blood Money Is Ensuring The End Of The World As We Know It


THE NEW YORKER: In its multi-part report, “The Koch Club,” written by Lewis, Eric Holmberg, Alexia Campbell, and Lydia Beyoud, the Workshop found that between 2007 and 2011 the Kochs donated $41.2 million to ninety tax-exempt organizations promoting the ultra-libertarian policies that the brothers favor—policies that are often highly advantageous to their corporate interests. In addition, during this same period they gave $30.5 million to two hundred and twenty-one colleges and universities, often to fund academic programs advocating their worldview. Among the positions embraced by the Kochs are fewer government regulations on business, lower taxes, and skepticism about the causes and impact of climate change.

Climate-change policy directly affects Koch Industries’s bottom line. Koch Industries, according to Environmental Protection Agency statistics cited in the study, is a major source of carbon-dioxide emissions, the kind of pollution that most scientists believe causes global warming. In 2011, according to the E.P.A.’s greenhouse-gas-reporting database, the company, which has oil refineries in three states, emitted over twenty-four million tons of carbon dioxide, as much as is typically emitted by five million cars.

Starting in 2008, a year after the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency could regulate greenhouse gasses as a form of pollution, accelerating possible Congressional action on climate change, the Koch-funded nonprofit group, Americans for Prosperity, devised the “No Climate Tax” pledge. It has been, according to the study, a component of a remarkably successful campaign to prevent lawmakers from addressing climate change. Two successive efforts to control greenhouse-gas emissions by implementing cap-and-trade energy bills died in the Senate, the latter of which was specifically targeted by A.F.P.’s pledge. By now, four hundred and eleven current office holders nationwide have signed the pledge. Signatories include the entire Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, a third of the members of the House of Representatives as a whole, and a quarter of U.S. senators.

The 2010 mid-term elections were a high watermark for the pledge. The Kochs, like many other conservative benefactors, gave generously to efforts to help shift the majority in the House of Representatives from Democratic to Republican. Koch Industries’s political action committee spent $1.3 million on congressional campaigns that year. When Republicans did take control of the House, a huge block of climate-change opponents was empowered. Fully one hundred and fifty-six members of the House of Representatives that year had signed the “No Climate Tax Pledge.” Of the eighty-five freshmen Republican congressmen elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, seventy-six had signed the No Climate Tax pledge. Fifty-seven of those received campaign contributions from Koch Industries’s political action committee. The study notes that more than half of the House members who signed the pledge in the 112th Congress made statements doubting climate-change science, despite the fact that there is overwhelming scientific consensus on the subject. MORE

SOURCEWATCH: Koch Industries, (pronounced “coke”), is the largest privately owned company in the United States with 70,000 employees and annual sales of $100 billion in the fiscal year ending December of 2008. [1] Cargill comes in second for privately owned companies. Operations include refining, chemicals, process and pollution control equipment, technologies, fibers and polymers, commodity and financial trading and consumer products. The company operates crude gathering systems and pipelines across North America. One subsidiary processes 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily in its three refineries. Koch also owns ranches with a total of 15,000 head of cattle in Kansas, Montana and Texas. Though diversified, the company amassed most of its fortune in oil trading and refining.[2] The company was started in 1927 by Fred Koch, a charter member of the John Birch Society, with an oil delivery business in Texas. […] The company is owned by two of the richest men in America, David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch (described as ‘reclusive billionaires’), who have a combined personal fortune estimated at more than $3 billion and who have emerged as major Republican contributors in recent years. MORE

NEW YORKER: The Kochs’ subsidization of a pro-corporate movement fulfills, in many ways, the vision laid out in a secret 1971 memo that Lewis Powell, then a Virginia attorney, wrote two months before he was nominated to the Supreme Court. The antiwar movement had turned its anger on defense contractors, such as Dow Chemical, and Ralph Nader was leading a public-interest crusade against corporations. Powell, writing a report for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urged American companies to fight back. The greatest threat to free enterprise, he warned, was not Communism or the New Left but, rather, “respectable elements of society”—intellectuals, journalists, and scientists. To defeat them, he wrote, business leaders needed to wage a long-term, unified campaign to change public opinion. Charles Koch seems to have approached both business and politics with the deliberation of an engineer. “To bring about social change,” he told Doherty, requires “a strategy” that is “vertically and horizontally integrated,” spanning “from idea creation to policy development to education to grassroots organizations to lobbying to litigation to political action.” […] An environmental lawyer who has clashed with the [Koch-funded] Mercatus Center called it “a means of laundering economic aims.” The lawyer explained the strategy: “You take corporate money and give it to a neutral-sounding think tank,” which “hires people with pedigrees and academic degrees who put out credible-seeming studies. But they all coincide perfectly with the economic interests of their funders.” MORE

RELATED: The Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation is one of Koch Family Foundations. Several of the organizations in the list below were founded by one of two Koch brothers, and one or the other sits on the boards, so in essence these organizations do the will of Charles G. Koch or David H. Koch. Below is a list of recipients listing the cumulative amount, unadjusted for inflation, granted by the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation:

1) Cato Institute $8,450,000
2) Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation $6,025,375
3) George Mason University $2,311,149
4) George Mason University Foundation, Inc. $2,074,893
6) Heritage Foundation, The $1,004,000
7) Institute for Justice $1,000,000
8)Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment $810,000
9) Reason Foundation, The $642,000
10) Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, The $504,000
12) Institute for Humane Studies $455,000
13) Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy $385,000
14) Washington Legal Foundation $350,000
15) Capital Research Center $340,000
16) Competitive Enterprise Institute $254,460
20) Ethics and Public Policy Center, Inc. $190,000
22) National Center for Policy Analysis $175,000
23) Citizens for Congressional Reform Foundation $175,000
24) Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc. $125,000
25) American Legislative Exchange Council $120,000
26) Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty $115,000
28) Political Economy Research Center, Inc. $80,000
29) Media Institute $60,000
30) National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship $60,000
31) University of Chicago $59,000
32) Defenders of Property Rights $55,000
33) University of Kansas Endowment Assocation $50,000
36) Texas Public Policy Foundation $44,500
37) Center for Individual Rights, The $40,000
38) Heartland Institute $40,000
39) Texas Justice Foundation $40,000
40) Institute for Policy Innovation $35,000
42) Center of the American Experiment $31,500
43) Atlas Economic Research Foundation $28,500
44) Young America’s Foundation $25,000
45) Henry Hazlitt Foundation $25,000
47) Atlantic Legal Foundation $20,000
48) National Taxpayers Union Foundation $20,000
49) Families Against Mandatory Minimums $20,000
50) Philanthropy Roundtable $19,200
51) Free Enterprise Institute $15,000
52) John Locke Foundation $15,000
53) Hudson Institute, Inc. $12,650
54) Alexis de Tocqueville Institution $12,500
55) National Environmental Policy Institute $12,500
56) Washington University $11,500
57) Pacific Legal Foundation $10,000
58) American Council for Capital Formation $10,000
60) Institute for Political Economy $8,000
62) State Policy Network $6,500
64) Fraser Institute, The $5,000
65) Mackinac Center, The $5,000
66) Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation $5,000
68) Institute for Objectivist Studies $5,000 MORE

THE NEW YORKER: The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, is a multimedia exploration of the theory that mankind evolved in response to climate change. At the main entrance, viewers are confronted with a giant graph charting the Earth’s temperature over the past ten million years, which notes that it is far cooler now than it was ten thousand years ago. Overhead, the text reads, “HUMANS EVOLVED IN RESPONSE TO A CHANGING WORLD.” The message, as amplified by the exhibit’s Web site, is that “key human adaptations evolved in response to environmental instability.” Only at the end of the exhibit, under the headline “OUR SURVIVAL CHALLENGE,” is it noted that levels of carbon dioxide are higher now than they have ever been, and that they are projected to increase dramatically in the next century. No cause is given for this development; no mention is made of any possible role played by fossil fuels. The exhibit makes it seem part of a natural continuum. The accompanying text says, “During the period in which humans evolved, Earth’s temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere fluctuated together.” An interactive game in the exhibit suggests that humans will continue to adapt to climate change in the future. People may build “underground cities,” developing “short, compact bodies” or “curved spines,” so that “moving around in tight spaces will be no problem.”  MORE

GREENPEACE: Billionaire oilman David Koch likes to joke that Koch Industries is “the biggest company you’ve never heard of.” But the nearly $50 million that David Koch and his brother Charles have quietly funneled to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming is no joking matter. Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have a vested interest in delaying climate action: they’ve made billions from their ownership and control of Koch Industries, an oil corporation that is the second largest privately-held company in America (which also happens to have an especially poor environmental record). It’s time more people were aware of Charles and David Koch and just what they’re up to. Greenpeace has released the report “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” to expose the connections between these climate denial front groups and the secretive billionaires who are funding their efforts. The Koch brothers, their family members, and their employees direct a web of financing that supports conservative special interest groups and think-tanks, with a strong focus on fighting environmental regulation, opposing clean energy legislation, and easing limits on industrial pollution. This money is typically funneled through one of three “charitable” foundations the Kochs have set up: the Claude R. Lambe Foundation; the Charles G. Koch Foundation; and the David H. Koch Foundation. MORE


PREVIOUSLY: Koch Industries Has Spent Nearly $50 Million To Refute Climate Change Science

PREVIOUSLY: How The Second Largest Company In America Is Spending Bazillions To Brainwash The American People Into Voting Against Themselves

PREVIOUSLY: Q&A With Climate Change Denier/Fracking Enthusiast/Koch Brothers Stooge Ann McElhinney