Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Makes Koch Industries ‘Big Oil’ And Why You Shouldn’t Believe The Claims Saying It Isn’t

The Obama campaign and the super PAC Priorities USA recently fired back at Americans for Prosperity, highlighting Mitt Romney’s ties to a funding source of $18.5 million in energy attack ads: Koch Industries.

Koch Industries has produced its own video claiming it doesn’t deserve the label of a secretive Big Oil corporation.

Shockingly, Factcheck.org and the Washington Post have taken up Koch’s argument. Factcheck.org wrote that despite Koch’s $100 billion revenue, the corporation’s diverse holdings mean “it is hardly in the league of the truly ‘big oil’companies.” The Washington Post Factchecker took the same angle.

While it’s true the most profitable U.S. corporations — ExxonMobil and Chevron — are larger than Koch, using this standard to claim the company isn’t Big Oil is incorrect. Let’s take a look at some key facts:
  • The Koch brothers’ net worth tops $50 billion and they have pledged to spend $60 million to defeat President Barack Obama, according to the Huffington Post.
  • The Koch PAC is the largest oil and gas contributor — donating more than even ExxonMobil — spending over $1 million in each of the last two cycles. This cycle, it has spent almost $750,000. Koch Industries sends 90 percent of these contributions to Republicans.
  • It’s the fourth-largest lobbyist in the oil and gas industry, spending $2,300,000 so far in 2012 and over $8 million in 2011.
  • Koch Industries emits over 300 million tons of greenhouse gases a year, based on the assumption that Koch emits the same amount of greenhouse pollution per billion dollars in revenue as Exxon and Chevron.
  • Flint Hills Resources, a Koch subsidiary, processes 300 million barrels of oil a year. This company is responsible for up to five percent of the U.S. 7-gigaton carbon footprint. Read More