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“We Are Koch”: We Make Your Planet Warmer And Water More Flammable

Koch Industries, considered Public Enemy Number One by many environmentalists, is blanketing the airwaves with an ad campaign touting its contributions to society.

Charles and David Koch, billionaire moguls of a fossil fuel empire, sign off their company’s self-aggrandizing ads with the triumphant exclamation “we are Koch!”

The main ad in their series of spot commercials features a kaleidoscope of bucolic farms as well as bustling factory workers and lab technicians. A narrator informs us that the company has a 60,000 strong workforce dedicated to providing a broad range of products to” help people improve their lives.” [“We Are Koch.”]

There is no mention of this second largest privately held company in the nation being slapped with numerous fines for pollution offenses. There is nary a word about the Koch brothers using their immense wealth to finance the debunking of climate change. No reference is made to the company’s lobbying efforts to thwart clean, renewable energy expansion and weaken anti-pollution regulations.

One of the ads features Claire Johnson, an environmental engineer lauding the work of her employer, Flint Hill Resources, a Koch chemical refining multi-site operation.

“If a pollution incident does occur,” Johnson declares as she stares into the camera, “we are great at self-regulation…” [We Are Koch.]

Koch’s perception of its self-regulatory skills is not shared by government authorities responsible for safeguarding our air, water and land. You can understand why when you learn that the very same Flint Hill Resources was recently fined $350,000 for allowing a Texas chemical plant to leak a lethal amount of hazardous emissions.

To counter the Koch’s pervasive propaganda, an advertising rebuttal is needed. Television satirist Jon Stewart took a one-time stab with a video parody displaying oil fields and polar bears. The video was accompanied by a supposed Koch narrator rhapsodizing that “with our devotion to fossil fuels, we [Koch] make your planet warmer and water more flammable while lubricating your birds and displacing your polar bears.”

Unfortunately, Stewart doesn’t have the resources to saturate the electronic mass media with his visual message. It is a shame there is no major ad campaign offering such responses as something like the following. Picture a Koch Industries chemical plant discharging suspicious-looking affluent into a waterway with a narrator boasting “here is a Koch plant operating at full tilt.” A sonorous voice then intones “They Are Koch.”

How about a video in which a melting iceberg collapses into the sea as a Koch narrative drones “global warming is a natural phenomenon. There is no human-induced climate change. They Are Koch.”

The camera zooms in on a bulldozer unloading toxic coal residue into a hazardous waste landfill with a voice-over proclaiming “renewable energy at this stage is unaffordable. That leaves the plentiful coal and other fossil fuels we supply as the only practical alternatives for the foreseeable future. They Are Koch.”

Koch Industries employs a lot of people, but it jeopardizes a lot as well.

 

By: Edward Flattau, The Blog, The Huffington Post, March 25, 2015

March 26, 2015 Posted by | Environment, Global Warming, Koch Brothers | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Koch Industries Lobbying Aggressively To Allow Safety Loopholes At Chemical Sites At Risk Of Terrorist Attacks

One of the largest private companies in the country, Koch Industries, is fighting tooth and nail against regulations aimed at protecting the United States from a terrorist attack on chemical plants, according to a new report. Since 9/11, homeland security officials have worked to establish rules for top chemical producers to ensure that major American plants identify vulnerabilities and shore up potential risks. However, the safety rules are costly, and as Greenpeace reveals in a study released today, Koch has used its influence in Congress to loosen enforcement on its own sprawling network of chemical facilities.

There are two bills that deal with industrial chemical safety standards and terrorism prevention. One bill, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS), will “exempt most facilities and actually prohibit the authority of Department of Homeland Security to require safer processes.” Another bill, the Continuing Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Security Act (CCFASA), closes security loopholes and provides authorities the power to enforce the law on chemical manufacturers. Koch has pushed for an extension of CFATS and has unambiguously lobbied to kill the CCFASA bill.

John Aloysius Farrell, Ben Wieder and Evan Bush, reporters for iWatch News, have covered the issue and note the proximity of Koch’s most dangerous facilities to large population centers:

– An Invista chemical plant in LaPorte, Texas, where a spill and vaporization of formaldehyde could threaten almost 1.9 million potential victims within 25 miles.
– A Georgia-Pacific plant in Camas, Wash., where a chlorine spill and gas cloud could endanger 840,000 people within 14 miles.
– A Flint Hills refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, where 350,000 people living within 22 miles would be threatened by a hydrogen fluoride spill and vaporization.
– And a Koch Nitrogen plant in East Alton, Ill., where 290,000 people live within 11 miles, and face the potential danger of a poisonous anhydrous ammonia cloud.

Koch’s campaign donations appear closely aligned with their anti-terrorism prevention lobbying. For instance, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), the lead author of the flawed CFATS extension, blocked amendments to the bill that would “require facilities to asses their ability to convert to safer chemical processes, close regulatory loopholes, and involve non-management level workers in the chemical security process.” Lungren has accepted over $22,000 from Koch-related campaign donations.

By: Lee Fang, Think Progress, August 24, 2011

August 25, 2011 Posted by | 911, Campaign Financing, Congress, Conservatives, Corporations, Energy, Environment, GOP, Ground Zero, Homeland Security, Ideologues, Ideology, Koch Brothers, National Security, Nuclear Power Plants, Politics, Regulations, Republicans, Right Wing, Wealthy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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