Koch Industries, Keystone XL and Killer Kleptocracy
Koch (pronounced like “Coke”) Industries is a private corporate conglomerate controlled by two brothers – Charles G. and David H. Koch – each of whom own 42% of the company. Diversfied in chemicals and refining along with consumer products and commodity trading, the company’s subsidiaries and brands include many household names such as Georgia-Pacific (Dixie Cups and Tableware) and Invista (Stainmaster Carpets). With over 70,000 employees and over $100 billion in annual revenues, Forbes ranks Koch Industries as the second largest privately-held company in America:
Worth an estimated $25 billion each, the Koch Brothers share the #4 position on the Forbes list of the 400 richest people in America. Their individual net worths are exceeded only by those of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison. Forbes also ranks Charles Koch and David Koch among the world’s 68 most powerful people:
The Koch Brothers have wealth, power and an insatiable appetite for more of both. And what they cannot earn through free enterprise, they acquire through other means. Each year they pour millions of dollars into the financing of several “Astroturf” grassroots organizations, and a complete list of the politicians they bankroll at both the national and state level might read like a Who’s Who of American politics, e.g.:
The Koch Brothers play to win. If they can’t win by the rules, then they elect politicians willing to pass (or block) the legislation they need to change the rules. And if they still don’t win, then they just ignore the rules. This shocking 3 October 2011 Bloomberg exposé entitled “Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales” shows just how far they are willing to go to complete their agenda – which has absolutely nothing to do with making the American people more prosperous, or making our nation a better place to live:
http://tinyurl.com/6doxrfz < – THIS IS A MUST READ
A major item on the Koch Brother’s agenda is garnering all the approvals needed for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which if built would increase the import of heavy oil from Canadian oil sands to the U.S. by up to 510,000 barrels a day. A 10 February 2011 Reuters release entitled “Koch Brothers Positioned To Be Big Winners If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved” disclosed the following:
“Proponents tout [the proposed Keystone XL pipeline] as a boon to national security that would reduce America’s dependence on oil from unfriendly regimes. Opponents say it would magnify an environmental nightmare at great cost and provide only the illusion of national benefit… A SolveClimate News analysis, based on publicly available records, shows that Koch Industries is already responsible for close to 25 percent of the oil sands crude that is imported into the United States, and is well-positioned to benefit from increasing Canadian oil imports… A Koch Industries operation in Calgary, Alberta, called Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, supplies about 250,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day to a heavy oil refinery in Minnesota, also owned by the Koch brothers… Flint Hills Resources Canada also operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, the starting point of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline… Koch Industries also owns Koch Exploration Canada, L.P., an oil!
sands-focused exploration company also based in Calgary that acquires, develops and trades petroleum properties.”
“[All] eyes had been on Hillary Clinton and the State Department, which is officially weighing the pipeline permit. The application was cruising toward a swift and barely noticed approval early last year, but the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico provoked a closer look as environmental security became a national concern… The 1,959-mile pipeline would cut through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma to refineries in Texas, and crisscross the Ogallala Aquifer, which [millions of] Americans living in the Midwest rely on for fresh drinking water as well as irrigation… Last July, the EPA rolled up its sleeves and called a time out. The agency deemed the State Department’s environmental review of the Keystone project as ‘inadequate,’ the lowest possible ranking. EPA raised concerns over a potential oil spill over the Ogallala aquifer.”
According to Wikipedia, “The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States. One of the world’s largest aquifers, it covers an area of approximately 174,000 sq mi (450,000 sq km) in portions of the eight states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas… About 27 percent of the irrigated land in the United States overlies this aquifer system, which yields about 30 percent of the nation’s ground water used for irrigation. In addition, the aquifer system provides drinking water to 82 percent of the people who live within the aquifer boundary.”
There is no such thing as an oil pipeline that won’t leak. And when the Keystone XL pipeline starts releasing its toxic contents into our heartland’s lifestream, it will be too late for the American People to say they’d prefer water to Koch.
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