Koch representatives previously told Rep. Waxman that Keystone XL has “nothing to do with any of our businesses” and that Koch has “no financial interest” in the pipeline.
Waxman writes in his letter [PDF] today: “There appears to be a direct contradiction between what Koch representatives told me and the assertion by a Koch subsidiary that it “has a direct and substantial interest” in the Keystone XL pipeline. I believe the Committee should examine this matter to determine the nature ofKoch's interest in the pipeline. The Committee should also investigate whether Koch sought to conceal its interest in the pipeline from the Committee.
These issues are significant and timely given the pending approvals required for the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been the subject of legislation by our Committee. Charles and David Koch and Koch Industries should not be exempt from responsible oversight and normal accountability. If members of the Committee were misled by Koch, that is a serious matter that deserves prompt and thorough investigation.”
In 2009, Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, an Alberta-based subsidiary of Koch Industries, applied for—and won— 'intervenor status' in the National Energy Board hearings that led to Canada's 2010 approval of its 327-mile portion of the pipeline. The controversial project would carry heavy crude 1,700 miles from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.
In the form it submitted to the Energy Board, Flint Hills wrote that it “is among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters. Consequently, Flint Hills has a direct and substantial interest in the application” for the pipeline under consideration.
To be approved as an intervenor, Flint Hills had to have some degree of “business interest” in Keystone XL, Carole Léger-Kubeczek, a National Energy Board spokeswoman, told InsideClimate News. Intervenors are granted the highest level of access in hearings, with the option to ask questions. The Energy Board approved Canada's segment of the pipeline with little opposition, and Flint Hills did not exercise its right to speak.
Bloomberg has released a whopping 21-page investigative and historical essay on the many crimes of the infamous Koch Brothers, their company Koch Industries and its array of subsidiaries. The feature piece in Bloomberg Markets Magazine's November edition, the article is titled, “Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales,” although the title is a bit of a misnomer – while part of the story, the Iran angle is but a small piece of it.
Indeed, the article leaves any person with faith in the American legal system wondering, “How could these guys not possibly be locked up in prison?” A few stunning article highlights (or lowlights) show that it's not for lack of contemptible behavior, that's for certain:
The Tyee notes today that billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch and their company Koch Industries are a major player in Alberta’s dirty oil sands, a fuel source far more polluting than even regular oil. Leave it to the Koch brothers to gravitate towards (and profit from) the dirtiest sources of energy on the planet - while ignoring investments in cleaner alternatives that could help rescue and stabilize the U.S. economy - and collect love letters from the Tea Party’s “patriots” for their efforts.
Tyee reporter Geoff Dembicki notes the Kochtopus’s role in spawning the fake ‘grassroots’ Tea Party movement, especially through the Koch-filled coffers of Americans For Prosperity, and points to the Kochs’ role in funding the climate denial machine as a key indicator of why the TeaOP is overrun with anti-science sentiment.
The looming threat of a TeaOP takeover in Washington - even if exaggerated in its scope - is bad news for science-based policy, particularly in the arena of climate change policy. With a fresh crop of climate deniers set to assume seats formerly held by moderate Republicans and Democrats, the silly season antics that typically crop up during election time appear to be stuck on auto-repeat for the foreseeable future.
Dembicki details Koch Industries’ role in sponsoring the Tea Party rise, but also probes Koch’s extensive control over Alberta’s filthy oil sands, including this excerpt:
In the latest example of polluter attempts to exert influence over science, the Koch-funded Pacific Research Institute was paid to manufacture another junk science “study” designed to lend credibility to California’s disastrous Proposition 23 ballot measure, an oil industry-backed effort to derail the state’s landmark AB 32 law to fight global warming.
The Yes on 23 campaign, a group launched and funded primarily by three oil companies – Valero Energy, Tesoro Corporation and Koch Industries’ subsidiary Flint Hills Resources - has been meddling in science, much to the liking of its oil industry bankrollers. Recent financial reports reveal the Yes on 23 campaign has raised more than $5.2 million in the past three months, mostly from the oil companies.
The funding reports reveal payments of tens of thousands of dollars going to researchers at an industry front group well known for ginning up misleading research suggesting that California’s clean energy efforts would kill jobs.
Koch subsidiary Flint Hills Resources LP handled the laundry duties on this one, but the directive surely came from the heads of the Kochtopus empire - billionaires David and Charles Koch.
The Kochs have found themselves under an uncomfortable spotlight lately after a thorough investigation by The New Yorker revealed the brothers’ extensive funding of a network of groups that catapulted the ‘grassroots’ Tea Party into play, as well as their financial backing of a sprawling network of climate denier groups that makes even ExxonMobil blush.
The Los Angeles Times blog ‘Greenspace’ first reported Flint Hills Resources donation towards the Proposition 23 bill last night, noting that the effort was launched by two other oil industry players, Texas-based refinery companies Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.