Koch brothers

Phoenix Voters 'Say Yes to the Future,' Rejecting Koch-Backed Effort to Ban Light Rail Expansion in Least Sustainable US City

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Phoenix light rail

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams. Originally published on Common Dreams under CC BY-SA 3.0 US.

The city of Phoenix dealt a decisive blow to a Koch Brothers-backed measure on Tuesday when voters rejected a proposition that would have banned any expansion of the city's light rail system.

Documents Shine New Light on Koch Brothers’ Early Efforts to Abolish the Department of Energy

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David Koch and Ed Clark

A scheme to abolish the Department of Energy (DOE) helped spur a failed 1980 Libertarian Party presidential bid — and in the process laid the groundwork for Charles and David Koch's powerful network of influence — as documents from a newly published archive show.

The documents in the new KochDocs.org archive include a relatively little-noticed column penned by fossil fuel industrialist Charles Koch for the Libertarian Review in August 1977, in which Charles, who had served as a member of President Carter’s energy task force in 1976, argued against Carter’s energy policy, writing that the “only ‘certainty’ to be associated with governmental planning is that it will not work, will tend to produce results opposite to those intended, and will doom any substantial private long-range planning in energy development.”

Within three years, the Energy Department had been established by federal law — and its abolishment had become a central plank of the Libertarian Party’s 1980 presidential campaign, which featured Ed Clark as its presidential candidate and Koch IndustriesDavid Koch as his running-mate. 

150 Congressional Republicans Represent Fossil Fuel Companies Instead of Their Communities

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Senator James Inhofe

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Last week, we mocked the fossil fuel industry’s use of an outlet it owns to brag about perverting democracy — but we didn’t actually call out the politicians in the industry’s pocket.

Lucky for us, the Center for American Progress Action Fund did just that this week. A new analysis from CAP tallies up the climate deniers in the 116th Congress. As it turns out, there are a lot: 150.

'Conceivably the Worst': Groups, Lawmakers Blast Confirmation of Climate Denier to FERC

Read time: 4 mins
Bernard McNamee

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Bernard McNamee, a climate change denier who helped write the Trump administration's failed coal and nuclear bailout plan, was confirmed Thursday as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Senate approved the nominee on a straight party-line vote of 50-49 after Sen. Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat of West Virginia, withdrew his support due to his concerns about McNamee's stance on climate change.

President Trump's nomination of the fossil fuel lawyer as one of the FERC's five commissioners was strongly opposed by environmentalists, public health groups and elected leaders.

Dark Money Paid New Trump Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s Salary for 3 Years

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Matthew Whitaker

Today, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Matthew G. Whitaker, who served as chief of staff for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would replace his boss. Sessions was forced from office a day after the midterm elections, which were rough for climate and anti-fracking measures around the country.

Whitaker was appointed as Session’s chief of staff on September 22, 2017. Before that, he served for three years as the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), which describes itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas.”

FACT has come under fire for its own lack of transparency, with the Center for Responsive Politics calling attention to FACT’s funding, which in some years came entirely from DonorsTrust, an organization also known as the “Dark Money ATM of the Conservative Movement” and whose own donors include the notorious funders of climate denial, Charles and David Koch.

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

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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

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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

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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

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