Climate Crime Scene declared as true Koch family legacy is brought to light

by Mike Gaworecki

March 17, 2010

Several Greenpeace activists/emergency responders were on the scene of yet another climate crime today, this time in search of billionaire oilman David Koch. As the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History unveiled its new David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, our activists rolled up in our green emergency vehicles and passed out “Wanted” posters for David Koch and his brother Charles. The two are responsible for spending millions of dollars to lobby against climate action and fund climate denial.

Who the heck are the Kochs? you might be asking, and I dont blame you. Theyre a pretty secretive duo, even though they are the principal shareholders of Koch Industries (it’s pronounced like “Coke,” by the way), an oil supply and refining company that is one of the largest private corporations in the US.

Though they like to brag about being the biggest company youve never heard of, the Kochs do not why away from meddling in public affairs all the same. Koch Industries is among the biggest lobbying spenders in the oil industry and Kochs political action committee (PAC) spent more on contributions to federal candidates since the 2006 election cycle than any other oil-and-gas sector PAC.

The Kochs also funnel millions of dollars through their three charitable foundations to a whole bunch of the worst climate deniers, like the Cato Instititute and the Heritage Foundation. From 2005 to 2008, the Koch foundations gave over $24.8 million in funding to climate denial groups, outdoing even ExxonMobil, which gave about $9.1 million to similar organizations over the same period of time. You can see the recipients of Kochs dirty fossil fuel money and the exorbitant sums each has received over the years by visiting www.greenpeace.org/kochmoney.

Youve probably even seen or heard of their handiwork before, though you may not have known who was behind it. The Hot Air Tour, which aims to spread climate denial talking points and misinformation about global warming through a touring hot air balloon, was launched by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP). David Koch is the founder and chairman of AFP, which, not coincidentally, has receieved some $5 million from Koch foundations.

Greenpeace Koch Wanted Poster

Plenty more fun and interesting facts about how the Kochs spend their money to buy influence on Capitol Hill and ensure that we delay action on global warming long enough for them to rake in several more billions of dollars can be found in this factsheet (PDF).

How can you help counter the Kochs influence on the climate debate? Help us shine a light on their funding of climate denial by using the buttons at the top of this post to share this story on Facebook, Tweet it, or send it to your friends and family.

David Kochs oil money may get his name on an exhibit at the Smithsonian, but together we can ensure that the true Koch family legacy is known as one of environmental crimes, lobbying to block clean energy, and funding global warming denial front groups.

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