Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP)

Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group

$6,324,834 received from Koch foundations, 2005-2017. $850,000 from David Koch in 2004.

David Koch (1940-2019) was the chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Koch executive vice president Richard Fink was also on the AFP board, while he was  president of the Charles G. Koch and Claude R. Lambe charitable foundations.

AFP was founded in 2004 with an undisclosed $850,000 seed grant from David Koch, making him the largest initial donor. Another $150,000 from Art Pope, and several other large contributions like State Farm, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and Johnson & Johnson. These previously undisclosed payments are not included in our data (see table below), which only includes the Koch family’s nonprofit foundation spending.

In March, 2011, Americans for Prosperity sent memos to U.S. senators to support an attack on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lawful regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act AFP has led attacks on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a climate pollution reduction program signed by ten northeast and mid-Atlantic states, by pressuring state lawmakers to repeal from the program despite its economic successes. Similarly, AFP California supported Proposition 23, the ballot attack on state climate legislation that was heavily financed by Koch Industries and other oil companies.

Beginning in 2008, Americans For Prosperity organized the “Hot Air Tour:” astroturf “hot air balloon” events to highlight their opposition to clean energy and climate legislation. This astroturf campaign has been repeatedly exposed in many forums, including the Wall Street Journal’s blog, Environmental Capital.

At the 2010 international climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, AFP had a live broadcast of its Hot Air Tour featuring Senate climate denier James Inhofe (R-OK) and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.

As detailed by Jane Mayer for the New Yorker, AFP ran the “No Climate Tax” campaign and helped organize the “Tea Parties” tax protests. See archives of the No Climate Tax pledge website, listing the politicians that signed it.

AFP played a key role in forcing green jobs expert Van Jones out of his former position at the Council of Environmental Quality.

AFP’s 2010 Regulation Reality Tour, featuring Smart cars and “carbon cops” at stops across the country, was launched to obstruct U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation of major greenhouse gas emitters and undermine the seriousness of climate change. Citizens observing the tour were given fake citations for mowing their lawns or filling gas tanks, falsely alleging that the EPA would regulate individual consumers.

Americans For Prosperity and state AFP chapters are members of the State Policy Network.

More information:

SourceWatch profile: Americans for Prosperity

DeSmogBlog profile: Americans for Prosperity

Little Sis network map: Americans for Prosperity Foundation

Right Wing Watch: Americans for Prosperity

Conservative Transparency: Americans for Prosperity Foundation funding

OpenSecrets: Americans for Prosperity political spending data

ExxonSecrets profile: Americans for Prosperity

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