A recent report by the Investigating Reporting Workshop at American University shows that the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch have managed to persuade a large portion of Congress to sign a pledge in which they have vowed to vote against any climate change legislation unless it is accompanied by their favorite treat: An equivalent amount of tax cuts for the rich. Given the fact that an eventful solution to global climate change necessarily includes a cost to the polluters and the public, the pledge makes it extremely unlikely that all of those members of Congress who signed it would vote for any meaningful climate change reform.
The study tracks exactly how these billionaire brothers were able to single-handedly create a wave of corporatist libertarianism that has fed off of anti-government paranoia stemming from the Bush Recession.
Charles Lewis, the Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop explained that the I.R.W., a non-profit news organization attached to American University, decided to focus on Koch Industries because,
“There is no other corporation in the U.S. today, in my view, that is as unabashedly, bare-knuckle aggressive across the board about its own self-interest, in the political process, in the nonprofit-policy-advocacy realm, even increasingly in academia and the broader public marketplace of ideas.”
Then end-goal of their ongoing crusade against environmental regulations isn’t an honest disagreement with the cost or existence of climate change, but just a shameless ruse designed to allow them to pollute more and earn higher profits.
Koch Industries is major source of carbon dioxide emissions, precisely the kind of pollution that the scientific community agrees is responsible for global climate change. The company has emitted over 24,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide just in the last year alone according to the E.P.A.’s greenhouse-gas-reporting database.
The Koch-sponsored “No Climate Tax” pledge, which was created only a year after the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is about to regulate greenhouse gases as a form of pollution, has been extremely successful in preventing lawmakers from enacting meaningful climate change reform.
At the moment, 411 current officeholders nationwide have signed their corporatist pledge, and two efforts to implement And trade energy bills have died in the Senate since its inception, Out of the 85 Preston Republican congressman that swept into the House of Represented us in 2010, 76 of them had pledged their allegiance to Koch Industries.
Incredibly, most of America is completely unaware that such a pledge even exit. It is imperative that liberals and progressives make some noise about this and shine a light on the Koch Brothers and their stooges in Congress.
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