Tag Archives: Koch Industries

IFG’s Kochtopus: The Kochs’ Influence Network explained by Victor Menotti of the IFG

By: IFG
August 31, 2012

Read More: Who “Built” The Kochs’ Business, Will The Billionaire Brothers Take Over Cato?, Methods of Control Oligarchs Use to Gain Power

Who “Built” the Kochs’ Business

By: IFG
August 30, 2012

As David Koch is feted in Tampa as an “Entrepreneur Building America” by Americans for Prosperity (or AFP, the fake grassroots group he funds to advance his hardline agenda for “economic freedom”), IFG’s Plutonomy Program asks, who actually “built” Koch Industries’?

The answers emanating from AFP are about as clear as the air we breathe thanks to the Kochs’ family fortune of fossil fuels polluting of our atmosphere, and the “Koch Cash” corrupting our democracy.

Yet it will only get worse if the Kochs get their way: the thrust of Romney-Ryan economic plan is to exclude carbon from the Clean Air Act, a policy proposed precisely to defend the Kochs’ wealth.

The truth is that every living being that breathes air and exists in our rapidly destabilizing atmosphere has sacrificed to “build” the Kochs’ business by allowing them to take our planet over the edge: two thirds of America is covered in drought, Arctic ice is receding to record lows, and the Kochs’ own scientists are now undoubtedly convinced that our earth is warming.  Poor people and future generations will pay the highest human price, even as entire ecosystems face extinction.

Others who helped to build the Kochs’ business include:
  • Countless workers, who have made the billionaire brothers, together, the world’s third wealthiest individuals after Carlos Slim and Bill Gates.
  • Communities with cancer clusters could be a legacy at some of the Kochs’ industrial sites, and a forthcoming report from IFG will explain more of this unexplored topic.  Corpus Christie, Texas, is one place where Koch Industries brazenly leaked benezefrom its facility, only to award itself for environmental achievement when it eventually complied with the law.
  • Crops crashing due to drought:  The Kochs’ cheerleading for carbon emissions are leaving farmers in the lurch and countless people hungry as food prices rise globally.  US taxpayers are now on the hook for another $14B in payouts for crop insurance due to this summer’s damage.
  • Veterans of oil wars who went to serve their country but found themselves fighting for access to oil to feed the refineries that the Kochs and others built to support the fossil fuels infrastructure.  Too much blood and treasure has been spent to secure supplies that keep oil flowing and the Kochs cashing in.
  • US Taxpayers: who paid for the roads, bridges, tunnels, highways and other public infrastructure from which the Kochs’ oil refineries and other products make their money.

How wealthy are they?  The Kochs quintupled their combined net worth in the last six years by investing their industrial earnings into oil derivatives speculation, in which an unregulated market with no ban on insider trading allows investors to influence energy supplies via manipulating their refineries, pipelines, storage, etc.

The Kochs’ economic freedom agenda poses that government has no role in regulating how things are produced, unless it harms others. Tobacco companies “willful negligence” led them to ignore their own scientific findings of the cancer-causing agents they produced.

Building a business shouldn’t be on the backs of people and the planet.

Stay tuned for original IFG podcasts and corresponding reports that will explore the Kochs and their political influence. They will be available HERE and via our emails next month.

Read More: Koch Brothers Exposed: Fueling Climate Denial and Privatizing Democracy , Kochs’ Web of Influence, The Koch Brothers 

Methods Of Control Oligarchs Use to Gain Power

By Kourosh Behnam
March 28, 2012

Using the Koch Brothers as a symbol of oligarchic power.

Astroturf Organizations: Bankrolling the radical rights economic agenda has been a tradition in the Koch family for decades. In 1958 Fred Koch was one of the founders of the John Birch Society, an American political advocacy organization that “supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic, and personal freedom.” In 1984 David Koch established Citizens for a Sound Economy, whose sole mission is to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation. However, in 2004 Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two entities: Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity. The Koch’s remain active in Americans for Prosperity and the individual in charge of FreedomWorks is Dick Armey (Republican Party GOP House majority Leader from 2003 to 2005). The Koch brothers use Americans for Prosperity to stimulate the Tea Party, and AFP organized the first national Tea Party movements in 2009. These organizations have the ability to mobilize, educate, and train people. From Koch donations, American for Prosperity was able to create a $5 million anti-healthcare campaign.

Wealth Defense Industry: A political action committee of Koch Industries, KochPAC (Koch Political Action Committee), has played a tremendous role lobbying in Washington D.C. Lobbyists of Koch Industries have spent much of their time shaping new policy for financial regulation. The Dodd-Frank Act was passed by Congress under the Obama Administration “to craft new rules to subject traders in the energy industry to increased regulation and transparency” according to the Koch Web of Influence by John Farrell. Congress and regulators are still detailing the necessary changes to implement this new law and Koch lobbyists have spent a considerable amount of time shaping the bill. A few weeks, after the bill was passed, Koch lobbyist Gregory Zerzan held a covert meeting with SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes and his counsel, Gena Lai to see how the government would apply the law. According to Greenpeace’s 2011 update report of Koch Industries, the KochPAC spent $2,645,589 in 2009-2010. KochPAC is also the number one oil and gas contributor in the U.S., out spending Exxon Mobil. American oligarchs use many specialized professionals to prevent wealth from being taken, and their wealth defense industry is comprised of lawyers, accountants, wealth management consultants, tax avoidance consultants, and lobbyist. When oligarchs hire them, their main purpose is to defend as much wealth as possible, and only oligarchs would have enough wealth to purchase these services. The industry is global, some of the key players are Whithers, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, White & Case, Milbank Tweed Hadly and McCloy, Weil Gotshal and Manges, and Freeman Freeman and Smiley are known as the “magic circle” firms.

Legislatures and Elected Officials: Mike Morgan, the previous Director of Public and Governmental Affairs of Koch Industries, played a significant role in promoting legislation for the Koch brothers. As of December 2011, Mike Morgan still sits on the Private Enterprise Board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is an organization that promotes limited government, free markets, and federalism. According to the American Association for Justice “ALEC campaigns have covered many issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream.” ALEC has proposed legislation that benefits Koch Industries and is undermining climate change proponents. Major campaign contributions from the billionaire brothers can be seen in the makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Koch Industries is the largest oil and gas donor, giving $279,500 to 22 Republicans on the committee and $32,000 to five of its Democrats, according to the Los Angeles Times. In 2010 KochPAC gave political donations to freshman members of Congress, such as Gardner Cory (R-CO) $10,000, Griffith Morgan (R-VA) $5,000, and Pompeo Mike (R-KS) $10,000.

Courts and Judges: Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission is a landmark case that will go down in history for poisoning our electoral process. This case has allowed corporations to flood our political marketplace and corrupt our democracy and the Koch Brothers themselves played a significant role in enabling this case to advance. Three years ago, Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia attended a political retreat organized by Charles and David Koch in Palm Spring California for wealthy conservatives. There is more speculation that Justice Thomas stayed on a four-day retreat which was paid by the Federalist Society. The Citizens United case that was supported by Justice Scalia allowed corporations to spend limitless amounts of money on elections with little public disclosure.

Read More: Oligarchy, IFG Wealth and Power , Kochtopus: Koch Cash Influence

 

 

Koch Industries Involved In Fracking Boom

By: Kourosh Behnam
March 6, 2012

The construction of this facility was made for transporting crude oil and natural gas

The construction of this facility was made for transporting crude oil and natural gas

Lee Fang, at the Republic Report, has found convincing evidence that Koch Industries is involved in the boom in natural gas fracking.

Koch Industries has funded many of the pro-fracking think tanks , like the Heartland Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Koch investments have fueled the creation of these think tanks which promote climate denial.

A in house newsletter from October 2011 explains Koch Industries “discoveries” of crude oil and natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.

1. Koch Pipeline: is partnering with NuStar Energy to develop a dormant pipeline from Pettus, TX to refineries in Corpus Christi. The pipeline will transport natural gas from fracking sites in southern Texas. Koch Pipeline is a Koch Industries subsidiary.

2. Flint Hills Resources: recently purchased a small craft pier and wharf in Ingleside, TX to store shipments of natural gas from fracking operations in the Eagle Ford shale formation. Flint Hills Resources is a Koch Industries subsidiary.

3. Koch Supply & Trading: a Koch Industries company that deals with commodity trading and financial products, is “already trading Eagle Ford crude” to help supply Koch companies and other customers, according to a Koch Industries newsletter.

4. Koch Chemical Technology Group: is designing a processing facility near Yoakum, TX to help process natural gas fracked in southern Texas. Koch Chemical is a subsidiary of Koch Industries.

5. John Zink: a Koch Industries company, is providing flares for a natural gas processing plant in Helena to service the fracking industry.

6. Georgia Pacific: produces resins used for chemicals used to prop open micro-fractures, an important process for fracking to occur. GP is a Koch Industries subsidiary.

7. Koch Fertilizer: a Koch Industries company, has tapped into increased natural gas production from fracking to develop fertilizer.

As of November 2011 the combined wealth of Charles and David Koch is $50 billion.  There investments benefit from climate change and their influence networks block efforts to phase out pollution from fossil fuels.

Read More: Heartland Institute: A Manifestation of the Kochtopus Empire, How The Kochs Are Fracking America , Who Are The Koch Brothers