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What Makes Koch Industries ‘Big Oil’ and Why You Shouldn’t Believe the Claims Saying it Isn’t

Rebecca Leber
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Monday 14 May 2012
“Koch Industries has produced its own video claiming it doesn’t deserve the label of a secretive Big Oil corporation.”
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The Obama campaign and the super PAC Priorities USA recently fired back at Americans for Prosperity, highlighting Mitt Romney’s ties to a funding source of $18.5 million in energy attack ads: Koch Industries.

Koch Industries has produced its own video claiming it doesn’t deserve the label of a secretive Big Oil corporation.

Shockingly, Factcheck.org and the Washington Post have taken up Koch’s argument.  Factcheck.org wrote that despite Koch’s $100 billion revenue, the corporation’s diverse holdings mean “it is hardly in the league of the truly ‘big oil’companies.” The Washington Post Fact checker took the same angle.

While it’s true the most profitable U.S. corporations — ExxonMobil and Chevron — are larger than Koch, using this standard to claim the company isn’t Big Oil is incorrect. Let’s take a look at some key facts:

·       The Koch brothers’ net worth tops $50 billion and they have pledged to spend $60 million to defeat President Barack Obama, according to the Huffington Post.

·       The Koch PAC is the largest oil and gas contributor — donating more than even ExxonMobil — spending over $1 million in each of the last two cycles. This cycle, it has spent almost $750,000. Koch Industries sends 90 percent of these contributions to Republicans.

·       It’s the fourth-largest lobbyist in the oil and gas industry, spending$2,300,000 so far in 2012 and over $8 million in 2011.

·       Koch Industries emits over 300 million tons of greenhouse gases a year, based on the assumption that Koch emits the same amount of greenhouse pollution per billion dollars in revenue as Exxon and Chevron.

·       Flint Hills Resources, a Koch subsidiary, processes 300 million barrels of oil a year. This company is responsible for up to five percent of the U.S. 7-gigaton carbon footprint.

·       Koch says itself that the company is on par with big banks and is among the world’s top five oil speculators.

·       Koch is a major player in driving up gas prices through speculation, hurting American consumers. ThinkProgress reported that in 2008, Koch leased four supertankers to hold oil in the Gulf, leading to a gas price increase anywhere from 20 to 40 cents a gallon at the time.

·       According to Inside Climate News, Koch industries “has touched virtually every aspect of the tar sands industry since the company established a toehold in Canada more than 50 years ago.” It is active in mining Canada’s tar sands and exporting to the U.S., and is active in Canadian politics, with half a million dollars in donations between 2007-2010.

·       As reporters consider these factors, Koch has been widely reported as a Big Oil corporation by media outlets like PoliticoForbesNPR, and Politifact.

It is absurd to say Koch Industries is not Big Oil when it plays such a hugely influential role in a wide variety of fossil fuel markets — all while flexing its power to protect the oil industry’s special interests.



Boris Badenov's picture

I'd like to know how much the

I'd like to know how much the Bush family owns?
Big in Oil, Big in Weapon sales, Big in the Drug Wars.
Why hasn't this been a story? After all their the ones that profited from the "NO BID CONTRACTS"

It's absurd to say there are

It's absurd to say there are any real Investigative Reporters in our Mainstream Media outlets. They could easily expose Fred Koch's criminal background of patent infringement on someone elses " thermal cracking process" of crude oil, that ultimately closed down his US oil company in 1927.

It's absurd to say they will expose the fact that his Crime Family's illgotten fortune was made by selling this stolen process to Joseph Stalin from 1929 to 1932, but he claims to be quite The Hero in his 1960 book, "A Businessman Looks At Communism". He hates all Commies, but he will take their money!

It's absurd to say these same Alleged Journalists will expose their history of global pollution, being ranked #10 on the Toxic 100 Polluters in 2010 or the $400 million dollars in pollution fines from 1999 to 2003.

It's also absurd to say that anyone will mention that all, I repeat, All Alleged Philanthropic Donations are written off every year allowing the over-taxed American populace to pay twice for their Noblesse Obligue. Thank You Sir! May I Have Another?

It's absurd to say that any judicial rulings will be made in the near future since their own website proudly proclaims an editorial from the Wall Street Journal quoting Charles Koch:

"Because of our activism, we've been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we're determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges [deficit spending by governments] seriously."

Koch-Heads don't lie, they just tell their own Twisted History.

The Kochroaches' business

The Kochroaches' business interests have greatly expanded to include massive misinformation, propaganda, lies, and dirty politics that rival Rupert Murdoch's Fox Noise in dishonesty, but the Kochroaches prefer the safety of spreading their filth and disease under the cover of darkness and secrecy like the vermin they are.

Lying bastards!! They must

Lying bastards!! They must be paying the media off, along with the politicians, otherwise, how could they say the kochroaches aren't big oil!?

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