The 5 Most Toxic Energy Companies and How They Control Our Politics
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Their darling that year was Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, who sits on the Energy and Commerce committee, raking in $79,500. Pompeo's voting record on energy is in keeping with someone who's received large donations from the energy industry. This year, he voted in favor of barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases as well as for opening up the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling. And now he's grandstanding against Solyndra. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, on the Banking and Appropriation committees received $41,050 and has also voted against enforcing limits on CO2 emission limits in 2009 and was in favor of authorizing construction of new oil refineries in 2005. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, got less money ($20,000) but put it to good use. Hatch has been vocal in his support of tax breaks for oil companies. Likewise, he generally supports legislation that would benefit the oil and gas industries, for example voting in favor of drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (2011), opposing EPA regulations (2011), and supporting the elimination of the Kyoto Accords in 2000. In December 2006, the Campaign for America's Future rated Hatch's support for energy independence at a mere 17 percent.
The highest paid Democrat on the roster was Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln with $17,500. Fellow Arkansas Representative Mike Ross, who sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee, got the second highest amount for a Democrat at $10,000. As you'll read later, Arkansas is key to the Kochs' dirty business.
The brothers haven't been sitting back in the 2012 election cycle, either. Already Koch money has tipped Mike Pompeo $27,500; Scott Brown, R-Mass., $10,000; and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., $5,000, among others. Outlays to federal candidates for 2012 has already hit $433,750 and less than $17,000 of that has gone to Democrats. Senate Democrat Joe Manchin of coal-friendly West Virginia got $5,000.
And that's not all. A report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund reveals more about the 2010 election:
The Kochs have contributed significantly to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In fact, they are the single-largest oil and gas donor to members of the committee, contributing $279,500 to 22 of the committee's 31 Republicans and $32,000 to five Democrats. Tim Phillips, the head of Americans for Prosperity, even co-authored an op-ed with chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), detailing how Congress could stop the EPA from ensuring a cleaner environment.
Upton, who received $10,000 that year, made Koch proud. The Los Angeles Times reported in February 2011:
In recent months the congressman has made a point of publicly aligning himself with the Koch-backed advocacy group, calling for an end to the "EPA chokehold." Last week the chairman released a draft of a bill that would strip the EPA of its ability to curb carbon emissions. The legislation is in line with the Kochs' long-advocated stance that the federal government should have a minimal role in regulating business. The Kochs' oil refineries and chemical plants stand to pay millions to reduce air pollution under currently proposed EPA regulations.
The Kochs are also active at the state level fighting environmental initiatives. Their subsidiary Flint Hills Resources spent $1 million for Prop 23, a (failed) attempt to block a clean energy law in California. And they've donated to gubernatorial campaigns, including funding climate denier Rick Perry to the tune of $50,000.
While ExxonMobil has come under scrutiny for its work funding the anti-science climate denying movement, the Kochs have been just as diligent. A report from Greenpeace revealed that from 1997 to 2008, the Kochs helped fuel bogus think tanks, organizations and "experts" with $48.5 million. "In 2009, they contributed over $6.4 million dollars to some 40 organizations that continue to deny the scientific consensus on global warming while attempting to slow or block policies to solve the climate crisis."