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.
- 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.