Detailing the Koch brothers’ influence on environmental politics | The American Independent

Detailing the Koch brothers’ influence on environmental politics | The American Independent.

Detailing the Koch brothers’ influence on environmental politics

By Troy Hooper | 10.31.11 | 11:16 am | More from The Colorado Independent

Koch Industries Inc. isn’t just in Kansas anymore, Toto.

The nation’s second largest private company and its subsidiaries are also in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas and just about every other state in the nation. But the locale where Koch Industries is making its presence felt the most isn’t a state at all. It’s Washington, D.C.

The Wichita-based conglomerate has spent a fortune lobbying for its oil, gas, mineral and chemical interests this past decade while bankrolling the campaigns of sympathetic congressmen. It has paid special attention to lawmakers that make up the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Koch Industries is diversified — it manufactures household staples such as Angel Soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Lycra fabrics and Stainmaster carpets — but its main investment is in oil.

While the influence of Koch Industries has been ongoing for years, it wasn’t until after 2008 that it captured mainstream attention for the tornado of dollars it funneled into campaign coffers as the Democrats — buoyed by House, Senate and White House control — pushed for cap and trade. What followed was a conservative takeover of the House in 2010 that capitalized on widespread voter frustration with the job-hemorrhaging economy and the government’s inability to put a stop to it.

In the 2010 elections, Koch Industries and its partners spent tens of millions of dollars to elect politicians who would roll back environmental and financial regulations that benefit their businesses.

The men behind the curtain are Charles and David Koch who, with an estimated net worth of $25 billion a piece, are tied for fourth in Forbes magazine’s annual list of The Richest People in America.

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Read the full story here: The American Independent

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Filed under campaign contributions, campaign financing, Constitution, corruptopn, elections, ethics (in politics), lobbying, politics, politics & business, USA

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