Koch Industries Donates $1 Million To Prop 23 Effort To Kill California Climate Law

Fri, 2010-09-03 10:47Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Koch Industries Donates $1 Million To Prop 23 Effort To Kill California Climate Law

David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers bankrolling the front groups behind the Tea Party and climate denial movement, have added another ‘cause’ to their philanthropic endeavors, donating $1 million to the Proposition 23 fight to kill California’s landmark 2006 climate change legislation.

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.

The Kochs have lost much of the anonymity they enjoyed over the past several decades in the political world. Ever since David Koch’s disastrous performance in the 1980 elections when he bought his way onto the Libertarian Party’s ticket as Vice Presidential candidate - a ticket that earned only one percent of the vote - the Kochs have stayed below the radar for the most part.  

Until recently, David was better known in New York social circles for his charitable donations to the arts and humanities, while Charles focused on running Koch Industries with an iron fist.  But since the New Yorker piece and a report by Greenpeace in March documenting the Kochs’ support for the climate denial machine, the brothers can do little without receiving massive media attention.

As the world looks more closely, it seems the Kochs have their hands in all sorts of anti-democratic pies, and now we know that undermining California voters’ choice to confront climate change is among them.

Wonder where else the Koch brothers’ influence will pop up this election cycle? Stay tuned as more tentacles of the Kochtopus emerge into the sunshine.

Previous Comments

The California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their refineries, and there will not be lower gas prices. Both Koch Industries and Valero are super Enrons. Since when did the oil companies start to show any concern for the unemployed and their families?

The Kochs are promoting anti-science in the promotion of their continued future profits and their Libertarian politics.

Those who promote anti-science will inevitably turn youngsters away from science. But the US needs a strong scientific base to maintain its technological lead. It’s fairly obvious that the US’ lead is slipping away.

Now countries such as China and India value scientists, where the true value of scientists to their economies are appreciated. But in the US antiscience as promoted by the Tea Party [apparently a Koch creation] and denialists leads to hate campaigns; death threats and who knows what else?

In the future the US will probably not be able to rely upon importing scientists from overseas [where they will be valued], and the resultant decline of the US economy will be the responsibility of the Kochs, ExxonMobil and others, including those who comment on websites, including here.

Those who promote anti-science are anti-American.

Citizens of the US and Canada need to understand the connection between anti-science propaganda and the fossil fuel industries.

Also, too few appreciate the huge tax payers subsidies and other financial perks enjoyed by these entities. Maybe their PR bills could be taxed, if only the sums of money wasted on lawyers and publicity merchants could be diverted to alternative energy research that would be a start.

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Climate denial was imported from the United States to Britain by a free market idealist employed by the billionaire oil baron Charles Koch. DeSmog UK tells their story for the first time in a two-part longread from our epic history series. 

John Blundell was an idealist. A curious, unassuming and softly spoken conservative. When a sixteen-year-old school student living in a three-storey semi-detached house in the affluent suburbs of Congleton, Cheshire, his father handed...

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