Koch brothers

Kochs' Americans for Prosperity Group Launches Campaign to Crush Fuel Economy Standards

Read time: 3 mins
Shell station sign showing gas prices around $5.00 a gallon in 2008

Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy network funded by the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers, recently launched a campaign to support President Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back fuel efficiency and automobile emissions standards.

Through social media feeds of the many AFP state chapters, the group is promoting a petition to “Repeal Costly Obama-era Fuel Standards.”

Koch-Funded Groups—Yet Again—Speak Out Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

Read time: 6 mins
Nissan Leaf Electric car charging in front of San Francisco City Hall

A coalition of thirty conservative free-market advocacy organizations — the majority of which have clear ties to Charles and David Koch through their funding or leadership — have sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) urging that Congress halt any expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit, or scrap it entirely.

How Supreme Court Pick Brett Kavanaugh Could Return US Policy to the Era of Robber Barons

Read time: 8 mins
Brett Kavanaugh

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearings get under way, understanding his appointment’s potential impacts for corporate regulation and the climate means looking back all the way to 1890.

That was when a nearly 50-year stretch known to legal historians as the “Lochner era” kicked off — a time better known in U.S. history as the age of the robber barons.

Led by Sempra Energy, 'Global Natural Gas Coalition' Launched with Trump Admin and Labor Union in Fold

Read time: 8 mins
Arctic Lady LNG tanker

San Diego-based Sempra Energy has spearheaded the launch of a group called the Global Natural Gas Coalition to promote exports of gas obtained via fracking (hydraulic fracturing) to the global market. Sempra is a natural gas utility giant and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export and import company.

Announced at a June 25 gathering at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Global Natural Gas Coalition features other participants such as the American Petroleum Institute (API)LNG Allies, the American Gas Association, American Chemistry Council, and others, according to its event page on the website Eventbrite. The RSVP information for the Press Club event features the contact information for Paty Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Sempra, and the company's representatives consisted of eight out of the 78 attendees of that event, according to the Eventbrite page.  

Also attending the event were officials from several agencies in the Trump administration. They included Mark Menezes, Elise Atkins, Christine Harbin, Jessica Szymanski, and Sara Kinney of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); Deaver Alexander, William Thompson, and Stephen Morel of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (a federal agency focused on helping “American businesses invest in emerging markets”); Scott Condren of the U.S. Export-Import Bank; and John McCarrick of the U.S. Department of State.

i360

i360

Background

i360 advertises itself as a data science, analytics, technology, and advertising company that maintains a “comprehensive data resource of all voting Americans” as a database of over 290 million consumers, 199 million of which are active voters. [1]

Michael Palmer founded i360 after working as chief technology officer for Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, Politico reported. [2]

Read time: 8 mins

Exxon Leaving ALEC: Important But Insufficient Step in Addressing Company's History of Climate Science Denial, Campaigners Say

Read time: 3 mins
Exxon Mobil forecourt

ExxonMobil has announced it will leave the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate lobby group known for its attempts to block climate action. Campaigners cautiously welcomed the decision, though said Exxon had to do more to prove it was committed to addressing climate change.

Exxon’s decision comes after opposition to ALEC’s attempt last December to get the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon its position that climate change proposes a risk to human health.

What's Wrong With Secret Donor Agreements Like the Ones George Mason University Inked with the Kochs

Read time: 5 mins
George Mason University faculty and students protest Koch influence on their school

By Alexa Capeloto, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera acknowledged this month that his school gave the Charles Koch Foundation “some influence” over hiring and evaluating faculty as it accepted millions of dollars for its free-market research center, the Mercatus Center.

This news rankled the academic world, but it perhaps didn’t come as a surprise. Many scholars saw this as just the latest revelation of strings-attached giving with an ideological slant — another encroachment on the sacrosanct idea that teaching and research at universities, especially public ones like George Mason, must be immune from outside influence.

Charles Koch

Read time: 25 mins

Koch Alum’s Dark Money Group, ‘Power the Future,’ Denies Its Own Lobbying Status

Read time: 2 mins

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Now that Obama’s out of office, the War on Coal needs a new boogeyman, and Tom Steyer fits the bill. Last week saw the launch of a new website attacking Tom Steyer, reported the Free Beacon and Daily Caller.

Attempting to coin a new name for struggling coal communities, the site is called Steyerville.com. The claim is that Steyer’s recent climate change philanthropy is responsible for the decades-long economic decline of coal communities.

Anti-Regulation Law, Favored by Kochs, Used to Sue Wisconsin Education Agency

Read time: 6 mins
Caricature of Koch brothers and Gov. Scott Walker

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILLhas sued Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers for what it alleges was a state education agency's violation of an anti-regulatory law — long pushed by the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers — known as the REINS Act.

Wisconsin's version of REINS, or Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, is a piece of legislation heavily lobbied and advocated in favor of for over half a decade by Americans for Prosperity, a policy and electioneering advocacy front group founded and funded by the Koch Family Foundations and Koch Industries. The bill, which has a federal equivalent in Congress, has long been seen as the crown jewel of the Koch network. It essentially gives legislative bodies full veto power over regulations, including proposed environmental safeguards, which have been proposed by executive agencies — even when those regulations are mandated by laws legislatures have passed.

WILL's November 20 lawsuit, if successful, would be the first time the REINS Act is used to halt a proposed regulation. 

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