Archive for May 2nd, 2012

Pronk Pops Show 72, May 2, 2012: Segment 1: Rising Gasoline Prices Due To Excessive Speculation In Oil Futures Contracts–Political Issue in 2012 Elections–American People Are Being Screwed At The Gas Pump & Grocery Store–Videos

Posted on May 2, 2012. Filed under: American History, Business, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, History, Labor Economics, Law, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Radio, Regulation, Social Science, Success, Technology, Unions, Violence, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 72: May 2, 2012

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Segment 1: Rising Gasoline Prices Due To Excessive Speculation In Oil Futures Contracts–Political Issue in 2012 Elections–American People Are Being Screwed At The Gas Pump & Grocery Store–Videos

http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx?time=24

Gas Prices Explained

Quantitative Easing Explained

Senator Blumenthal on Curbing Excessive Oil Speculation

Senator Blumenthal calls for action against excessive oil speculation that inflates gas prices

Cantwell: ‘Shenanigans’ in Oil Market Reminiscent of Enron ‘Nightmare’ in Pacific NW

How Uncertainty, Speculation Factor Into Gas Prices

Banksters & Speculation Behind High Food-Oil Prices

Under Questioning by Cantwell, Exxon CEO Estimates Oil Should Cost $60-70 Per Barrel

On May 12, 2011, when questioned by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Exxon Mobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson said that oil should cost between $60 and $70 per barrel, if the price of oil were based on supply and demand fundamentals. Oil was trading at $98 per barrel on Thursday morning, after inexplicitly plunging 5.5 percent yesterday.

Michael Greenberger on “commodity prices and volatility”

Regulations on Speculation Weak, But Better Than Nothing

Speculation and Watered Down Regulation

Secret Exemptions Allowed Speculators to Distort Futures Markets

CFTC Commissioner: “A Hair Trigger Away from Economic Calamity”

Will CFTC Limit Excessive Speculation?

Stossel: Oil Speculation

The Price Of Oil

CHHS Director explains derivatives regulation on C-SPAN – 5/15/09

Michael Greenberger Talks Speculation In Commodity Markets

Oil speculation and oil prices

Myth: The World is Running Out of Oil (Peak Oil)

Hearing on Energy Price Manipulation – Greenberger Testimony

Background Articles and Videos

Lecture 2: Course outline, futures markets history and market mechanics

Lecture 3: Futures contracts

Lecture 4: Options contracts and market history

Lecture 5: Reading futures contract price quote tables

Lecture 15: A further review of technical analysis

Lecture 16: Introduction to hedging with futures

Lecture 17: Hedging continued

Lecture 18: Hedging risk vs. return, diversification and options on futures

Lecture 19: Options on futures continued, with examples

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

Pronk Pops Show 72, May 2, 2012: Segment 0: Charles and David Koch and Murray N. Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises–Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 72, May 2, 2012: Segment 0: Charles and David Koch and Murray N. Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises–Videos

Posted on May 2, 2012. Filed under: American History, Books, Business, Climate Change, Coal, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, History, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Regulation, Resources, Security, Success, Technology, Videos, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 72: May 2, 2012

Pronk Pops Show 71: April 25, 2012

Pronk Pops Show 70: April 23, 2012

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Segment 0: Charles and David Koch and Murray N. Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises–Videos

Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods discuss Rothbard and the Koch Brothers

I am a classical liberal or libertarian.

I greatly admire the works of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman, The Von Mises Institute, Cato Institute, Reason and the Koch brothers.

Competition is what it is all about.

The Republican Party establishment, sad to say, is controlled by progressive neoconservatives, which is why many classical liberals or libertarians have left the Republican Party and are now independents.

Nixon, Ford, Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, and Romney are all big government progressive Republicans. They may talk conservative, but walk as big government spenders. Limited government and fiscal responsibility are the last thing these big government progressive neoconservatives want. The Republican Party has became the party of war and the Democratic Party has become the party of welfare. The result is the warfare and welfare economy and state.

It is only a matter of time before a new political party will emerge that will reflect the views of libertarian conservatives, traditional conservatives, social/religious conservatives and national defense conservatives.

Background Articles and Videos

The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics

The left’s obsession with the Koch brothers

Apr 4, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 28 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI

“…For decades David and Charles have run Koch Industries, an energy and manufacturing conglomerate that employs around 50,000 people in the United States and another 20,000 in 59 other countries. Depending on the year, Koch Industries is either the first- or second-largest privately held company in America—it alternates in the top spot with Cargill, the agricultural giant—with about $100 billion in revenues. David and Charles are worth around $22 billion each. Combine their wealth and you have the third-largest fortune in America after Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Like most billionaires, the brothers spend a lot of time giving their money away: to medical and scientific research, to educational programs, to cultural institutions, and to public policy research and activism.

That last part has caught the attention of the left’s scouring eye. For unlike many billionaires, the Koch brothers espouse classical liberal economics: They advocate lower taxes, less government spending, fewer regulations, and limited government. “Society as a whole benefits from greater economic freedom,” Charles wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. Judging by the results of the 2010 elections, there are millions of Americans who agree with him.

Over the years the Kochs have flown beneath the radar, not seeking publicity and receiving little. But then the crash of 2008 arrived, and the bailouts, and the election of Barack Obama, and pretty soon the whole country was engaged in one loud, colossal, rollicking, emotional argument over the size, scope, and solvency of the federal government. Without warning, folks were springing up, dressing in colonial garb, talking about the Constitution, calling for a Tea Party. Some of them even joined a group called Americans for Prosperity—which the Kochs helped found and partly fund.

For progressives confused at the heated opposition to their do-gooder agenda, the Kochs became convenient scapegoats. Invoking their name was a way to write off opposition to Obama as the false consciousness of racist rubes stoked by greedy businessmen. In the liberal imagination the Kochs ascended from obscurity to infamy in record time. Starting in the spring of 2009, whenever you turned on MSNBC or clicked on the Huffington Post you’d see the Kochs described in terms more applicable to Lex Luthor and General Zod. …”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/paranoid-style-liberal-politics_555525.html

Koch Family

“…The Koch family (play /ˈkoʊk/ KOHK) of industrialists and businessmen is most notable for their control of Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States.[1] The family business was started by Fred C. Koch, who developed a new cracking method for the refinement of heavy oil into gasoline.[2][3] Fred’s four sons became involved in litigation against each other in the 1980s and 1990s.[4] According to the Koch Family Foundations and Philanthropy website, “the foundations and the individual giving of Koch family members” have financially supported organizations “fostering entrepreneurship, education, human services, at-risk youth, arts and culture, and medical research.” [5]

David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch—the two brothers still with Koch Industries—are affiliated with the Koch family foundations. Annual revenues for Koch Industries have been “estimated to be a hundred billion dollars.” [6]

Political activities

Main article: Political activities of the Koch family

David and Charles have funded conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups in the United States.[7] Since the 1980s the Koch foundations have given more than $100 million to such organizations, among these think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, as well as more recently Americans for Prosperity.[8] Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are Koch-linked organizations that have been linked to the Tea Party movement.[9][10]

Family members

  • Fred C. Koch (1900–1967), American chemical engineer and entrepreneur who founded the oil refinery firm that later became Koch Industries
  • Mary Robinson Koch (October 17, 1907 – December 21, 1990),[11] wife of Fred C. and namesake of the company tanker vessel Mary R. Koch
  • Four sons of Fred C. and Mary Robinson Koch:[11]
    • Frederick R. Koch (born 1933), collector and philanthropist
    • Charles G. Koch (born 1935), Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Koch Industries
    • David H. Koch (born 1940), Executive Vice President of Koch Industries
    • William Koch (born 1940), businessman, sailor, and collector

See also

  • David Koch Theatre
  • Charles Koch Arena
  • David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
  • The Science of Success, a book by Charles Koch in which he attributes the success of the family business to Market-Based Management
  • Koch Industries

References

  1. ^ “Forbes America’s Largest Private Companies”. Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/21/private-companies-11_land.html. Retrieved 10/4/11.
  2. ^ Koch, Charles C. (2007). The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built the World’s Largest Private Company. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-470-13988-2.
  3. ^ “Koch Industries, Inc.”. Company Profile Report. Hoover’s, Inc.. 2010. http://www.hoovers.com/company/Koch_Industries_Inc/cftjki-1.html. Retrieved 10 May 2010. “[W]hen he tried to market his invention, the major oil companies sued him for patent infringement. Koch eventually won the lawsuits (after 15 years in court), but the controversy made it tough to attract many US customers.”
  4. ^ “Epic struggle among Koch brothers ends”. Houston Chronicle: p. 2. 26 May 2001.
  5. ^ http://kochfamilyfoundations.org/Foundations.asp
  6. ^ Mayer, Jane(August 10, 2010) http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama The New Yorker
  7. ^ Zernike, Kate (October 19, 2010). “Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead”. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/us/politics/20koch.htm.
  8. ^ Charles Koch, in interview with Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal. 6 May 2006. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114687252956545543.html
  9. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (August 9, 2010), “Tea party’s growing money problem”, Politico, http://dyn.politico.com/members/forums/thread.cfm?catid=1&subcatid=70&threadid=4355176, retrieved 2011-06-14
  10. ^ Fenn, Peter (February 2, 2011), “Tea Party Funding Koch Brothers Emerge From Anonymity”, U.S. News & World Report, http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/Peter-Fenn/2011/02/02/tea-party-funding-koch-brothers-emerge-from-anonymity, retrieved 2011-06-13
  11. ^ a b Fred and Mary Koch Foundation …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_family

Koch Industries

“…Koch Industries, Inc. (/ˈkoʊk/), is an American multinational conglomerate corporation based in Wichita, Kansas, United States, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company. Koch companies are involved in core industries such as the manufacturing, refining and distribution[1] of petroleum, chemicals, energy, fiber, intermediates and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, pulp and paper, chemical technology equipment, ranching,[3] finance, commodities trading, as well as other ventures and investments. The firm employs 50,000 people in the United States and another 20,000 in 59 other countries.[4]

In 2011, Forbes called it the second largest privately held company in the United States (after Cargill) with an annual revenue of about $98 billion,[5][6][7] down from the largest in 2006. If Koch Industries were a public company in 2007, it would rank about 16 in the Fortune 500.[8]

Fred C. Koch, for whom Koch Industries, Inc. is named, co-founded the company in 1940 and developed an innovative crude oil refining process.[9] His sons, Charles G. Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and David H. Koch, executive vice president, are principal owners of the company after they bought out their brothers, Frederick and William, for $1.1 billion in 1983.[10] Charles and David H. Koch each own 42% of Koch Industries, and Charles has stated that the company will publicly offer shares “literally over my dead body”.[5]

History

Predecessor companies

In 1925, Fred C. Koch joined MIT classmate Lewis E. Winkler at an engineering firm in Wichita, Kansas, which was renamed the Winkler-Koch Engineering Company. In 1927 they developed a more efficient thermal cracking process for turning crude oil into gasoline. This process threatened the competitive advantage of established oil companies, which sued for patent infringement. Temporarily forced out of business in the United States, they turned to other markets, including the Soviet Union, where Winkler-Koch built 15 cracking units between 1929 and 1932. During this time, Koch came to despise communism and Joseph Stalin’s regime.[11][12] In his 1960 book, A Business Man Looks at Communism, Koch wrote that he found the USSR to be “a land of hunger, misery, and terror.”[13] According to Charles G. Koch, “Virtually every engineer he worked with [there] was purged.”[12]

In 1940, Koch joined new partners to create a new firm, the Wood River Oil and Refining Company, which is today known as Koch Industries. In 1946 the firm acquired the Rock Island refinery and crude oil gathering system near Duncan, Oklahoma. Wood River was later renamed the Rock Island Oil & Refining Company.[14] Charles G. Koch joined Rock Island in 1961, having started his career at the management consulting firm Arthur D. Little. He became president in 1966 and chairman at age 32, upon his father’s death the following year.[9][15]

Koch Industries

The company was renamed Koch Industries in honor of Fred Koch, the year after his death. At that time, it was primarily an engineering firm with part interest in a Minnesota refinery, a crude oil-gathering system in Oklahoma,[12] and some cattle ranches.[16] In 1968, Charles approached Union Oil of California about buying their interest in Great Northern Oil Company and its Pine Bend Refinery but the discussions quickly stalled after Union asked for a large premium.[11] In 1969, Union Oil began trying to market their interest in Great Northern by telling potential buyers that Koch’s controlling interest could be thwarted by currying favor with another owner, J. Howard Marshall II. When Marshall discovered this he threw his lot in with Koch, they together acquired a majority interest in the company and ultimately bought Union’s interest.[14] Ownership of Pine Bend refinery led to several new businesses and capabilities, including chemicals, fibers, polymers, asphalt and other commodities such as petroleum coke and sulfur. These were followed by global commodity trading, gas liquids processing, real estate, pulp and paper, risk management and finance.[11]

In 1970, Charles was joined at the family firm by his brother David H. Koch. Having started as a technical services manager, David became president of Koch Engineering in 1979.

Subsidiaries

Among Koch Industries’ subsidiaries across various industries[17] are:

Georgia-Pacific

Georgia-Pacific is a paper and pulp company that produces “Brawny” paper towels, “Angel Soft” toilet paper, “Mardi Gras” napkins and towels, “Quilted Northern” toilet paper and paper towels, “Dixie” paper plates, bowls, napkins and cups, “Sparkle” paper towels, and “Vanity Fair” paper napkins, bowls, plates and tablecloths. The Atlanta-based company has operations in 27 states.[18]

INVISTA

INVISTA is a polymer and fibers company that makes “Stainmaster” carpet, and “Lycra” fiber, among other products.

Koch Pipeline Company LP

Koch Pipeline Company LP, which owns and operates 4,000 miles (6,400 km) of pipeline used to transport oil, natural gas liquids and chemicals. Its pipelines are located across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alberta, Canada. The firm operates offices in Wichita, Kansas, St. Paul, Minnesota and Corpus Christi, Texas.

In 1946 Wood River Oil Co. (a precursor company to Koch Industries) purchased Rock Island Oil and Refining Co. As a part of the transaction, it acquired a crude-oil pipeline in Oklahoma. As a result of construction and investments, Wood River acquired other pipelines in the U.S. and Canada. “In the ensuing years,” according to Koch Pipeline’s website, “the company bought, sold and built pipeline systems transporting crude oil and refined products, as well as natural gas, natural gas liquids and anhydrous ammonia (for fertilizer).”[19] Koch Pipeline and its affiliates currently maintain a 4,000-mile network of pipelines.

In January 2000, Koch Pipeline agreed to a $35 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the State of Texas. This settlement, including a $30 million civil fine, represented compensation for three hundred oil spills in Texas and five other states dating back to 1990.[20][21][22]

Pipeline accident

Koch’s Sterling butane pipeline had a leak in Lively, Texas, on August 24, 1996. Two teenagers were killed when the gas exploded and burned. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that severe external pipeline corrosion was the cause of the failure, and recommended to Koch to improve corrosion evaluation procedures.[23] Although Koch distributed pamphlets about safety around the pipelines, they failed to maintain an up-to-date mailing list. Only 5 out of 45 residences in the area of the accident had received pamphlets. The families of the dead had not.[24]

In 1999, a Texas jury found that negligence had led to the rupture of the Koch pipeline and awarded the victims’ families $296 million — “the largest compensatory damages judgment in a wrongful death case against a corporation in U.S. history”.[25]

In a statement released in 2010, Koch Industries offered this comment:

The August, 1996 pipeline accident in Texas was a tragedy. Koch accepted responsibility immediately for the incident, which is the only event of its kind in the company’s history. The thorough review conducted of this pipeline the year before the accident did not uncover any issues that posed a foreseeable threat to public safety. The bacteria-induced corrosion that caused the accident acted more quickly to damage this pipeline than had ever been documented by any industry expert. Koch’s cooperative efforts to identify the source and cause of this problem so that this knowledge could be shared throughout industry were praised by the National Transportation Safety Board, which did a two-year investigation into this incident.[26]

Flint Hill Resources LP

Flint Hill Resources LP, originally called Koch Petroleum Group, is a major refining and chemicals company based in Wichita, Kansas. It sells products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol, polymers, intermediate chemicals, base oils and asphalt. It operates oil refineries in six states. Flint Hill has chemical plants in Illinois, Texas and Michigan. The firm is also a major manufacturer of asphalt used for paving and roofing applications. It operates 13 asphalt terminals located in six states including Alaska (2 terminals), Wisconsin (2), Iowa (3), Minnesota (4), Nebraska (1), and North Dakota(1).[27] The firm manages the purchasing of domestic crude oil from Texas and Colorado offices, has four ethanol plants across Iowa, operates three refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and has a refinery terminal in Alaska. The Minnesota refinery can process 320,000 barrels (51,000 m3) of crude a day, most of which comes from from Alberta, Canada, and handles one quarter of all Canadian oil sands crude entering the U.S.[28] It also operates fuel terminals in Wisconsin (4 locations), Texas (6), and one each in Iowa and Minnesota.[29]

In March 1999, Koch Petroleum Group acknowledged that it had negligently dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel into wetlands from its refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and that it had illegally dumped a million gallons of high-ammonia wastewater onto the ground and into the Mississippi River. Koch Petroleum paid a $6 million fine and $2 million in remediation costs, and was ordered to serve three years of probation.[30]

In April 2001, the company reached a $20 million settlement in exchange for admitting to covering up environmental violations at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas.[31][32]

In June 2003, the US Commerce Department fined Flint Hill Resources a $200,000 civil penalty. The fine settled charges that the company exported crude petroleum from the US to Canada without proper US government authorization. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said from July 1997 to March 1999, Koch Petroleum (later called Flint Hill Resources) committed 40 violations of Export Administration Regulations.[33]

In 2005, Koch’s Flint Hills Resources refinery was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Awards program for reducing air emissions by 50 percent while expanding operations.[34] The EPA has worked with Flint Hills Resources to develop “strategies for curtailing so-called ‘upset’ emissions, in what agency and company sources say could lead to guidance to minimize such emissions from petroleum refineries and other industrial facilities.”[35] The EPA described the process as a “model for other companies.”[36]

In 2006, Flint Hill Resources was fined nearly $16,000 by the EPA for 10 separate violations of the Clean Air Act at its Alaska oil refinery facilities, and required to spend another $60,000 on safety equipment needed to help prevent future violations.[37]

Koch Fertilizer, LLC

Koch Fertilizer, LLC, which is one of the world’s largest makers of nitrogen fertilizers.[38] Koch Fertilizer owns or has interests in fertilizer plants the United States, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and Italy, among others.[39][40] Koch Fertilizer was formed in 1988 when the Koch companies purchased the Gulf Central Pipeline and ammonia terminals connected to the pipeline. The next year, the Koch Nitrogen Company was formed in order to market ammonia. The next few years saw purchases of various ammonia facilities in Louisiana, Canada, and elsewhere, and ammonia sales agreements with firms in Australia, the U.K., and other countries. The year 2010 saw the founding of Koch Methanol, LLC, and Koch Agronomic Services, LLC. In October 2010, a plant in Venezuela was nationalized by the government.[41] In 2011, the firm acquired the British fertilizer firm J&H Bunn Limited.

Koch Agricultural Company

Koch Agricultural Company’s Matador Cattle Company division operates three ranches totaling 425,000 acres (1,720 km2) located in Beaverhead, Montana, Matador, Texas and the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. There are more than 15,000 head of cattle raised on the ranches.[42]

The Matador Land and Cattle Company was founded in 1882 by Scottish investors, whose acquisition included 2.5 million acres in four Texas counties. In 1951, the company was sold to Lazard Freres and Company, which in turn sold some of the Texas land to Fred C. Koch. In 1952 Koch formed Matador Cattle Company, and later one of his companies purchased part of Matador Ranch, which was brought together with other Koch ranches in Montana and Kansas. Today, according to the ranch’s website, it “is owned and operated by Matador Cattle Company, a division of Koch Agriculture Company, which is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.”[43]

Koch’s Matador Ranch in Texas earned the Lone Star Land Steward award for outstanding natural resource management in 2010.[44] The Montana ranch has earned several environmental stewardship awards, including the EPA Regional Administrator’s award.[45]

Environmental and safety record

From 1999 to 2003, Koch Industries was assessed “more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments.”[25] Another source points out that Koch has had only “eight instances of alleged misconduct … over the span of 63 years” despite being a giant multinational, and that this compares favorably to the fines, penalties and judgments accrued by the similarly large General Electric corporation.[46]

Pollution and resource fines

In May 2001, Koch Industries paid $25 million to the federal government to settle a federal lawsuit that found the company had improperly taken more oil than it had paid for from federal and Indian land.[47]

In 2007, Koch Nitrogen’s plant in Enid, Oklahoma, was listed as the third highest company releasing toxic chemicals in Oklahoma, according to the EPA, ranking behind Perma-Fix Environmental Services in Tulsa and Weyerhaeuser Co. in Valliant.[48] The facility produces about 10% of the US national production of anhydrous ammonia, as well as urea and UAN.[49]

In 2010, Koch Industries was ranked 10th on the list of top US corporate air polluters, the “Toxic 100 Air Polluters”, by the Political Economic Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[50]

Awards and certifications

Question book-new.svg
This section relies on references to primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject, rather than references from independent authors and third-party publications. Please add citations from reliable sources. (May 2011)

According to its website, Koch Industries and its subsidiaries received 289 stewardship awards over the two years ending January 2011.[51]

Koch Industries’ headquarters in Wichita has been certified for meeting the Energy Star standards for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. As of 2010[update] it is the only Wichita office building to be so recognized.[52][53] A Tulsa, Oklahoma site of the Koch-owned John Zink Company site was part of the EPA’s National Environmental Performance Track program from 2003 until 2009 when the program was suspended.[54][55]

In 2011, the Midway-Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross awarded Koch Industries with a Corporate Excellence Award for its long-standing commitment to the humanitarian mission of Red Cross.[56]

Legal activity

In 2008, Koch Industries discovered that the French affiliate Koch-Glitsch had violated bribery laws allegedly securing contracts in Algeria, Egypt, India, Morocco, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia after an investigation by Ethics Compliance officer, Egorova-Farines.[25] After Koch Industries’ investigative team looked into her findings, the four employees involved were terminated. A Bloomberg article states that Egorova-Farines’ reported her findings immediately, and even after Koch’s investigators substantiated the findings, her “superiors removed her from the inquiry in August 2008 and fired her in June 2009, calling her incompetent.”[25] Koch Industries’ general counsel, Mark Holden, gave a different account of the events to Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post.[57] Holden stated that Egorova-Farines failed to promptly share the findings, choosing instead to give the information to a manager at Koch-Glitsch who was later fired for bribery. Rubin writes that, according to Holden, “Egorova-Farines was not fired but instead ran into performance problems, left the company to go on leave and never returned.” Egorova-Farines sued Koch-Glitsch for wrongful termination in France. Rubin writes that she lost and “was ordered to pay costs for bringing a frivolous case.”[57]

In May 2011, a Utah judge dismissed a Koch Industries lawsuit alleging that Youth For Climate Truth, in releasing a fake Koch Industries press release, had infringed on Koch Industries’ trademark.[58]

Political activity

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See also: Political activities of the Koch family

Koch Industries has spent more than $50 million to lobby in Washington since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.[25]

The company has opposed the regulation of financial derivatives and limits on greenhouse gases.[25] It sponsors free market foundations and causes.[59] [60] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, many of Koch Industries’ contributions have gone toward achieving legislation on energy issues, defense appropriations and financial regulatory reform.[61] According to Greenpeace, the company has “had a quiet but dominant role in a high-profile national policy debate on global warming,” and has out-spent ExxonMobil (another corporation active in fighting climate change science and legislation) in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change. “From 2005 to 2008, ExxonMobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding.”[62][63] Another Greenpeace study states that between 1997 and 2008 Koch Industries donated nearly $48 million to groups which doubt or oppose the theory of anthropogenic global warming.[64][65] Koch Industries replied saying the Greenpeace report “distorts the environmental record of our companies.”[63][context?]

One policy proposal to control global warming that Koch Industries has come out against is Low Carbon Fuel Standards, such as were passed in 2007 in California.[28] According to Koch Industries, “LCFS would cripple refiners that rely on heavy crude feedstocks to provide the transportation fuels that keep America moving.”[66]

According to a critic of the Mercatus Center and the Kochs, the political activity by some of the Koch-supported foundations — such as Mercatus Center[67] — helps the company financially.[relevant to this paragraph? – discuss] According to Thomas McGarity, a law professor at the University of Texas who specializes in environmental issues, “Koch has been constantly in trouble with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Mercatus has constantly hammered” on the EPA.[63][relevant to this paragraph? – discuss] The founder of the Mercatus Center, Richard H. Fink, also heads Koch Industries’ lobbying operation in Washington DC.[63] According to a study by the progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America, Koch Industries (and other Koch brothers-owned companies) “have benefited from nearly a $100 million in government contracts since 2000.”[63][68]

Koch Industries have also been active in supporting and opposing politicians, including presidents. According to Jane Mayer, During the US 2000 election campaign, Koch Industries spent some $900,000 to support the candidacies of George W. Bush and other Republicans.[neutrality is disputed][63] It has funded opposition campaigns against programs of the Obama administration — “from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus”[63]. The Koch Industries website includes an opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal by Charles Koch, one of the company’s owners, “Why Koch Industries is Speaking Out”[69] The article states:

Because of our activism, we’ve been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we’re determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges [deficit spending by governments] seriously.

See also

Portal icon Companies portal
  • Koch family
  • Koch Family Foundations

References

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  69. ^ Why Koch Industries is Speaking Out, Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2011

External links

The Billionaires’ Tea Party HD

Koch Brothers: The Original Oil Speculators

Koch Bros: Evil or Easy Targets?

Koch brothers – Jane Mayer (Fresh Air) 1/3

Koch brothers – Jane Mayer (Fresh Air) 2/3

Koch brothers – Jane Mayer (Fresh Air) 3/3

Billionaire Brothers Waging War – Charles Lewis on DemocracyNOW!

Romney Koch Brothers Connections

Robert Greenwald on KPFK’s “The Uprising”: Koch Brothers Exposed

“Koch Brothers Exposed” Trailer Screening and Panel Discussion @ FSU

Oilmen Fund Anti-Global Warming Groups

Alex Jones: ‘The Koch Brothers’ and the False Left Right Paradigm

Rush Limbaugh vs Ron Paul – Has Limbaugh Been Bought by the Koch Brothers or GOP?

How the Koch Brothers (proponents of Free Markets) control American Politics

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