Koch Docs: Hard to find documents on Charles Koch and his agenda, all in one Place
by Connor Gibson
August 13, 2019
Koch Docs is a new online archive of primary source documents related to Charles Koch, Koch Industries, and the political agenda coordinated and financed by the Koch family.
Koch Docs is a live archive of hard-to-find documents on Charles Koch, Koch Industries, the Libertarian movement, and Koch’s network of political donors, influence groups, and allied politicians over the decades.
Documents as early as the 1960’s and as recent as 2019 will be included in the archive, sourced from a wide variety of university archives, investigative reporting outlets, researchers and academics, activist groups, and whistleblowers.
Koch Docs is intended to be a resource for researchers and reporters. For example, in her review of the new book Kochland by Christopher Leonard, New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer cites a historical document demonstrating how Charles Koch’s Cato Institute convened an early meeting of professional climate change deniers in 1991, years before the subversive movement gained traction in public.
At launch, the project includes over 100 of the most significant documents. Broad topics include:
- Charles and David Koch’s role in creating the modern Libertarian movement,
- Coordination of Koch’s modern network of political donors,
- University programs contracted to advance Charles Koch’s political ambitions,
- Koch influence of the policy agenda of the Trump Administration,
- Court cases brought against Koch Industries by the U.S. government,
- Charles Koch in his own words.
Many more documents will be added to Koch Docs in the coming months.
In addition to the document archive, Koch Docs has compiled other several sets of resources:
- Investigative reporting and media articles on Koch Industries, the Koch family, and Koch’s political activity
- Books on Koch Industries, the Koch family, and their impact on society
- Reports from academics, nonprofits and activists
- Documentary films and web videos on the Kochs or investigations into their work, including interviews with Charles Koch.
- Websites of organizations and media outlets where you can find more expertise on Koch.
The project was launched in tandem with the new Koch Network Database published by DeSmog, which includes detailed profiles of people and organizations that are controlled or financed by Charles Koch, and an searchable collection of IRS 990 tax filings for each of those groups.
Greenpeace USA and Koch accountability, 2010-2019
Greenpeace USA is one of several organizations that have collaborated to create Koch Docs. More information is available on the Koch Docs “About the Project” page.
Since 2010, Greenpeace has maintained a database of Koch-controlled nonprofit foundation spending on organizations that deny climate science, fight against science-based climate policies, and attack emerging clean energy industries that compete with companies like Koch Industries.
Greenpeace’s first report, Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine, was widely cited by expert reporters, researchers, and U.S. Senators alike for detailing how Koch has spent far more on climate denial campaigns than ExxonMobil. The 2010 report, and it’s 2011 update, Koch Industries: Still Fueling Climate Denial, included several case studies illustrating how Koch-funded front groups waged political campaigns on Koch’s behalf.
We continue to maintain our database of Koch-funded front groups that oppose progress on climate change mitigation, as well as a list of major pollution incidents at Koch Industries facilities.
In addition, Greenpeace has published reports on other political manipulation by Koch Industries:
- Our 2011 report Toxic Koch: Keeping Americans at Risk of a Poison Gas Disaster used public records to quantify estimates of dangers posed by chemical leaks or explosions at Koch-owned facilities around the country, and contrasted the risks with the efforts of Koch lobbyists to roll back chemical safety regulation.
- Our 2014 Koch Pollution on Campus report details how Koch has purchased positions for professors who inject unscientific political beliefs into many prominent universities.
- And, our 2015 report on Dr. Willie Soon revealed that Charles Koch was among the fossil fuel companies paying for Soon’s discredited research, intended to undermine public trust in climate science.
Finally, Greenpeace has participated in numerous coalition efforts to expose Koch influence:
- In 2011, we helped launch ALEC Exposed coalition, which has pushed well over 100 groups and corporations out of ALEC since 2012.
- We were among central players in the 2013 “Coalition to Save Our News,” which helped to block Koch Industries’ bid to purchase the Tribune Corporation, owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and other newspapers.
- And, we played a pivotal and sustained role in the creation of the UnKoch My Campus campaign, which has since grown into its own organization and catalyzed major breakthroughs at the national and local levels.