The 5 Most Toxic Energy Companies and How They Control Our Politics
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Here is what the report also found:
Of the eleven freshman senators who publicly question settled climate science, ten received funding from Koch Industries in 2010, and eight of them signed the Americans for Prosperity "No Climate Tax Pledge" to obstruct policy solutions to climate change. Of the 38 freshman Representatives who deny climate science, 22 received Koch PAC funding in 2010, and all 38 signed the AFP pledge.
So, what has the impact of this been on communities across the U.S.? Pretty horrific. Brave New Films recently released a new video as part of its Koch Brothers Exposed project that puts a human face on the way the Kochs do business. At least 11 people from just 15 homes on Penn Road in Crossett, Arkansas have died from cancer, and others in the neighborhood are sick. The cause of their deaths and illnesses is believed to be a toxic open sewer filled with millions of gallons of wastewater that runs by their homes. The source of the wastewater is Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia Pacific. So far the EPA has done nothing to address the issue even though it is a violation of the Clean Water Act. Remember, those congress members from Arkansas the Kochs have been funneling money to?
The people of Crossett are among a long list of victims. Two 17-year-olds were killed in 1996 in Texas when a leaky pipeline caused their truck to explode as they were going to seek help. The company knew the pipeline was faulty, but didn't bother to fix it.
Koch Industries has long been known for causing environmental harm. In 2000, over 300 spills they were responsible for in six states finally caught up with them, resulting in a $30 million penalty. But Koch Industries often manages to get away with paying chump change and getting a slap on the wrist. As Lee Fang reports:
Koch funneled large amounts of donations into electing George Bush in 2000 (even sending Koch-linked lobbyists to help disrupt the Florida recount). At the time, Koch Industries faced a 97-count federal indictment charging it with concealing illegal releases of 91 metric tons of benzene, known to cause leukemia, from its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. When Bush took office, his Justice Department dropped 88 of the charges and settled the case for a small amount of money.
And in Minnesota, Bloomberg Markets Magazine reported, "The company used fire hydrants to pump more than a million gallons of wastewater contaminated with ammonia out of the ground. Koch also increased its dumping of wastewater on weekends when it didn't monitor discharges, circumventing the reporting requirement of its permit, the EPA said. Koch also admitted that it negligently released between 200,000 gallons and 600,000 gallons of aviation fuel into a nearby wetland."
The list goes on, but you get the idea. There is a blatant disregard for human life, the health of the environment, and the air and water we all need to survive. And Koch Industries is able to get away with it because of its Yes Men in Washington, who are greasing the wheels of their greedy machine.
No list of the worst energy companies would be complete without British Petroleum. The company catapulted into the national headlines in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing a months-long gusher that would dump 200 million gallons of crude. Just this fall, a comprehensive report by the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement placed the blamed for the disaster clearly on the shoulders of BP, which managed the Macondo well. (Rig owner Transocean and contractor Halliburton received a small share of the blame.)