Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Koch Industries Funds Far-Reaching Climate Denial Machine

The story sounds familiar: a huge US company dominated by oil and chemical interests is "plowing millions of dollars into campaigns to discredit climate science and clean energy policies." But if you thought ExxonMobil was bad, you haven't seen anything yet.

Koch Industries, the second-largest privately owned company in the United States, is one of the largest financial backers of the climate change denial industry. According to a new report by Greenpeace, the "biggest company you've never heard of" has funneled nearly $50 million since 1997 to groups like the Heritage Foundation and CATO Institute to fund misinformation campaigns about climate science.

The Koch brothers' deep pockets have far-reaching beneficiaries. Over five million dollars went to the group Americans for Prosperity, "which is campaigning to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases." Another foundation established by Charles Koch funded a (now debunked) report that polar bears were not threatened by climate change.

Koch's PAC has also donated to some of the biggest Congressional names working to block limits on global warming pollution: "Dirty Air Act" author Lisa Murkowski, fellow "Dirty Air Act" supporter Blanche Lincoln, and climate-denial poster-boy James Inhofe. According to the report:
"The combination of foundation-funded front-groups, big lobbying budgets, political action campaign donations and direct campaign contributions makes Koch Industries and the Koch brothers among the most formidable obstacles to advancing clean energy and climate policy in the US."
And it's no coincidence that 20 of the most vocal groups surrounding the "Climategate scandal" were Koch-funded. But don't take our word for it; read the full report here.

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