Koch Family Funding Climate Change Deniers
A new investigation finds a family prominent in the oil and gas industry has funneled tens-of-millions of dollars into causes meant to undermine the science of climate change. The Colorado Independent newspaper found the, Wichita-based, Koch brothers are not only supporting politicians, but also academic researchers and conservative think tanks critical of global warming.
Tom Yulsman, with the Boulder-based, Center for Environmental Journalism, says it’s important to look at the shifting positions from prominent Republicans like John McCain or Mitt Romney on the science of climate change – from acceptance to skepticism – to see the Koch influence.
“The debate that’s actually taking place? It seems to be a debate that people are having about science. In fact, It really has nothing to do with science whatsoever. It is a debate about politics.”
Reporter, Troy Hooper, conducted the investigation for the Colorado Independent. He found the Kochs, their interests and employees combined, topped all other donors to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – and nine of 12 new Republican members signed a pledge distributed by the Koch-funded ‘Americans for Prosperity’ to oppose legislation to regulate greenhouse gases.
“I think in the case of the Kochs, we’ve seen it play-out where it’s pretty effectively changed environmental policy in the United States.”
Yulsman says while some polls indicate Koch funds may be influencing public opinion – other polls indicate a majority of Americans support environmental protections and believe the science of global warming.