Greenpeace Climate Crime Unit Searches for Oil Billionaire at Smithsonian’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins Opening

Media release - March 17, 2010
During the opening ceremony of the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Greenpeace activists staged a climate crime scene investigation in search of oil billionaire David Koch. Greenpeace’s Climate Crime Unit deployed green squad cars and emergency vehicles at the Museum as activists distributed wanted posters exposing the Koch brothers’ climate crimes.

"While David Koch's oil wealth may get his name on a museum exhibit, the Koch family legacy is one of environmental crimes, lobbying to block clean energy, and funding global warming denial front groups," said Kert Davies, Greenpeace Research Director.

David Koch and his brother Charles Koch are the two principal shareholders of Koch Industries, an oil supply and refining company that is one of the largest private corporations in the US.  Koch Industries is among the biggest lobbying spenders in the oil industry and Koch's PAC spent more on contributions to federal candidates since the 2006 election cycle than any other oil-and-gas sector PAC. [1]

Koch Industries is also a major source of funding for climate denier think tanks and organizations, including Americans for Prosperity, which David Koch founded.  According to the Washington Post, next week AFP will launch another "Hot Air Tour" aimed at opposing climate and clean energy policy. [2]

"It's a wonder the Smithsonian didn't learn a lesson on vetting its funders from the 2007 controversy over oil industry funding of the oceans exhibit hall.  Once again it is a shame to see this venerable Museum's name tainted by its sources of funding," said Davies, "David Koch is a multimillion dollar donor to groups that vend misinformation about climate science, so it's concerning that the Smithsonian would stamp his name on an exhibit that aims, in part, to educate people about the impacts of climate change on humanity."

In 2007, Smithsonian Regents including Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont opposed an effort by the American Petroleum Institute to fund the Smithsonian's Ocean Hall amid concerns that accepting oil money would taint the exhibit. [3]

Other contacts: Joe Smyth, Greenpeace Media Officer, 831-566-5647,

Notes: Photos available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceusa09/sets/72157623633678156/ For more information; http://www.greenpeace.org/kochmoney 1. OpenSecrets.org, Oil & Gas: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates and Parties, http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/industry.php?txt=E01&cycle=2010 2. Washington Post, Blanche Lincoln under fire, Mar 1 2010; http://views.washingtonpost.com/climate-change/post-carbon/2010/03/blanche_lincoln_under_fire.html 3. Washington Post, Smithsonian Project Loses Oil Sponsor, Nov 17, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111601495.html