Have you heard of the Koch Brothers? If not you need to do your research.
Charles and David Koch are the CEO and Executive VP respectively of Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the country. Their holdings include Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Molex, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals, and Matador Cattle Company.
Koch Industries boasts a revenue of around $115 Billion USD annually. The brothers and their money are the machine behind the GOP’s fiction over fact policies when it comes to climate change and the environment. Oil baron brothers who have a vested interest in making sure the facts about the damage humans are doing to the environment continue to be denied and called "theory".
The Kochs have been the money and muscle behind the Tea-Party and early Libertarian movements to but sit in the shadows so stealthily that most members aren’t aware. David Koch actually ran for office as a Libertarian with a very anti-middle class and anti-worker agenda:
"We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission."
"We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs."
- "We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services."
- "We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry."
- "We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary."
- "We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes."
- "We support the eventual repeal of all taxation."
- "We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws."
- "We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency."
- "We support abolition of the Department of Energy."
- "We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation."
- "We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called "self-protection" equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets."
- "We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration."
- "We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration."
- "We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children."
- "We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and 'aid to the poor' programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals."
- "We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households."
- "We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act."
- "We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission."
The Brothers' Koch have a long history of putting their own interests ahead of that of the environment as well as workers in general. When they could not infiltrate politics themselves they sought to shape the conversation around environmental policy.
The Kochs paid scientists in an attempt to get them to lie about the effects on the environment by human activity and also the positives associated with renewable energy. When studies didn't go their way they were either buried or more money thrown into public misdirection.
Organizations, think-tanks and fronts were set up to try and curb legislation benefiting the environment in favor of utility companies.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Heartland Institute funded by the bros have managed to get proposed deals to limit our impact on the Earth halted they also host a conference yearly with the sole purpose of criticizing the facts behind climate change.
Suffolk University's Beacon Hill Institute commissioned by the Koch-funded American Tradition Institute analyze and examine current or proposed standards in more than a dozen states - the studies, funded by the Kochs showed that utility rates would soar if these standards were continued or augmented in favor of limiting climate change.
The scientists in the American Tradition Institute study later admitted to changing the findings to support the Kochs claims to reporters for the Washington Post.
The influence that the Koch brothers exert over the issue is blinding and prodigious. They have been dubbed the Climate Change Denial Machine and have spent over 80 million dollars to fight facts scientists have agreed upon for years, they have also pledged to donate in upwards of 900 million dollars on the 2016 presidential campaign.
Even with their candidate of choice now sitting on the sidelines they will push toward another, most likely Marco Rubio or Rand Paul both of whom have pledged to fight any climate change legislation.