Koch Federal Direct Lobbying Expenditures

Koch Industries has spent $79 million on federal lobbying since 1998, when disclosure became mandatory. Koch's lobbying expenses are outspent only by a few oil and gas industry "supermajor" competitors that have far greater annual revenue than Koch Industries: ExxonMobil ($192 million), Royal Dutch Shell ($188 million), BP ($171 million) Chevron ($105 million), and ConocoPhillips ($91 million).

 Total Koch Industries Lobbying Expenditures by Year:

  • 2014: $2.7 million (data only represents 2014, Quarter 1)
  • 2013: $10.43 million
  • 2012: $10.55 million
  • 2011: $8.36 million
  • 2010: $8.07 million
  • 2009: $12.45 million
  • 2008: $17.93 million

Former Koch lobbyists Thomas Pyle worked at Rhoads Group before starting Pyle and Associates, both of which have been consultants for Koch’s federal lobbying. President of groups founded by Charles Koch: the Institute for Energy Research and its sister organization, the American Energy Alliance).

Koch hired the Nickles Group in 2014 to oppose the national Wind Production Tax Credit and to fend off Constitutional amendments expected to be discussed in the Senate that could reverse Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United v FEC, which removed limitations on outside poltiical spending. Nickles’ lobbying would presumably defend the Kochs’ coordination of politcal spending, taking advantage of campaign finance loopholes to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into political election campaigns through a complex dark money network. The Nickles Group is run by former Oklahoma Republican Senator Don Nickles and has lobbied on behalf of fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Anadarko Petroleum to defend tax subsidies to oil companies.

Koch’s in-house and outside consultant lobbyists have worked against toxic chemical safeguards that would require Koch to use safer alternatives to chemicals used at its facilities.

It is worth noting that Koch also hires outside lawyers to lobby on its behalf, in some cases the same firms that lobby for other groups of which Koch is a member. For example:

  • Siff & Associates (formerly known as Siff & Lake), $200,000 (2010), $190,000 (2009), $220,000 (2008), $200,000 (2007), which also lobbies for Western States Petroleum Association (2007-2010).
  • Mehlman/Vogel, $240,000 (2010), $200,000 (2009), $120,000 (2008), $20,000 (2007) which also lobbies for the American Petroleum Institute (2008-2010), Business Roundtable (2008-2010), Edison Electric Institute (2008-2010) and Energy Future Holdings (2009-2010).
  • Cove Strategies, $170,000 (2010), $150,000 (2009), whose lobbyist Matthew Schlapppreviously worked for Koch Companies Public Sector as executive director of federal affairs, and before that served as chief of staff to former Kansas Representative Todd Tiahrt, a top recipient of Koch funding.
  • Hunton and Williams, $160,000 (2010), $60,000 (2009), $150,000 (2008), $80,000 (2007), which also lobbies for a wide variety of coal-burning utilities and dirty industry front groups, including American Electric Power (2005-2010), Southern Company (2003-2010), Duke Energy (2007-2010), Americans for Affordable Climate Policy (2009-2010), Gas Processing Association (2008-2010) and the Foundation for Environment and Economic Progress (2006-2010). Hunton and Williams was also recently implicated in a corporate spy scandal, hiring a security company to monitor and undermine political opponents of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • MWR Strategies, $60,000 (2010), $80,000 (2009), $80,000 (2008), which also lobbies for American Electric Power (2004-2010), Southern Company (2005-2010) and El Paso Corporation (2006-2010).

In addition, Koch executives serve on the boards of other organizations wielding influence against clean energy and climate policy. The Executive Vice President for Operations Excellence & Compliance at Koch Industries, James Mahoney, is also a vice-president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA). NPRA significantly increased its lobbying budget in 2009, reporting $1.68 million in direct federal lobbying expenses.  This more than doubled the lobby spending of the organization from 2008, when its total lobbying budget was $810,000

Data: Center for Responsive Politics.

Koch Industries lobbying

See also PolluterWatch profiles of Koch IndustriesCharles Koch and David Koch.

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