Brothers David and Charles Koch each have personal fortunes valued above $20 billion, a hostility toward environmental causes — and a secret (until recently) fund for exploiting new political money rules.
Koch Industries, a holding company, has interests in oil, refining, chemicals, fertilizer, paper, minerals, and other sectors with large environmental impacts. Over the years, they have funded many anti-regulatory lobby groups and politicians, with particular emphasis on opposing regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and discrediting climate science.
News broken this month by Politico revealed the existence of a fund, Freedom Partners, that quietly handed out some $250 million to conservative causes during the 2012 elections. Under U.S. law, such groups are tax-exempt, can raise unlimited amounts of money, and do not have to disclose their donors.
- "Exclusive: The Koch Brothers' Secret Bank," Politico, September 11, 2013, by Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei.
- "Koch Brothers Break New Ground in Dark Money," National Journal, September 13, 2013, by Alex Seitz-Wald.
- "Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Machine vs. Climate Science," Greenpeace USA, September 2013.
- "Koch Industries Still Fueling Climate Denial," Greenpeace USA, April 14, 2011.
- "Dark Money: Keeping an Eye on 501(c) Groups," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), ongoing blog aggregation accessed September 25, 2013.