GOP-backed XL Pipeline Would Be Worth $100 Billion to GOP's Billionaire Koch Brothers
January 24, 2015
Victor Menotti / International Forum on Globalization
Charles and David Koch, the owners of Koch Industries, will benefit should President Obama allow the Keystone XL Pipeline to be built. The Kochs reportedly hold up to 2 million acres in Alberta, Canada. Extracting the dirty tar sands in the region could generate roughly $100 billion in profits. This may explain why the Kochs have spent more than $50 million to influence congress and to fund think tanks that have produced studies to promote the controversial pipeline project.
Building Keystone XL Pipeline
Could Mean Roughly $100 Billion
In Profits for the Koch Brothers, New Report Reveals
Victor Menotti / International Forum on Globalization
(January 23, 2015) -- Owners of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch, will benefit should President Obama allow the Keystone XL Pipeline to be built. In recent years it has been reported that the Kochs hold up to 2 million acres in Alberta, could earn roughly $100 billion in profits from the project, and have spent more than $50 million on congress and think tanks that heavily push for the pipeline.
The Kochs have long been one of the largest players in the tar sands region of Alberta, Canada. The report connects the Kochs’ 50-year history and large footprint in the Canadian tar sands to the current debate about the pipeline.
Since the Kochs are big players, it stands to reason they will be big winners when the pipeline gets built. IFG crunched the numbers and puts forth a compelling answer to why the Kochs have used their influence networks to push for fast-tracking of pipeline -- $100 billion in potential profits.
Other Findings in the report include:
• The Kochs could earn 1 million times more than the average worker of the pipeline.
• Evidence suggests The Kochs alone be responsible for over 19 billion metric tons of carbon emissions in their tar sands holdings.
• Think tanks funded by the Kochs have released nearly 1000 pro-KXL reports or statements.
• Kochs have already made billions from insider trading and stand to do that again with tar sands.
• Koch Industries has a history of violence against people and the environment.
• The Koch Brothers seek to alter the public debate and control the policy debates in Washington.
"The Kochs have repeatedly claimed that they have no interest in the Keystone XL Pipeline, this report shows that is false." Said Nathalie Lowenthal-Savy, a researcher with IFG. "We noticed Koch Funded Tea Party members and think tanks pushing for the pipeline.
We dug deeper and found $100 billion in potential profit, $50 million sent to organizations supporting the pipeline, and perhaps 2 million acres of land. That sounds like an interest to me." Nathalie continued, "We all know they will use that money to fund and expand their influence network, subvert democracy, crush unions like in Wisconsin, and get more extremists elected to congress.
"The past two weeks of the government shutdown brought to light the irresponsible influence of Koch-funded groups," said Bold Nebraska Director, Jane Kleeb. "Rewarding the Koch Brothers with Keystone XL, who at every turn fund campaigns to mislead Americans on everything from climate to gas prices, is like the President advocating for Sen. Cruz to be the Majority Leader. It makes no sense. Farmers and ranchers in Nebraska are depending on Pres. Obama to see our national interest is not served with a pipeline that lines the pockets of climate deniers and foreign oil."
It is still anybody’s guess if President Obama will approve the northern leg of KXL. He has hinted that he has issues with the project, though he has not denied the permit. It is clear that IFG — and a growing number of other organizations — think the pipeline is in the interest of oil billionaires, not the American public.
The Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb Report is available for download here: http://kochcash.org/wp- content/uploads/2013/07/Embargo_Report.pdf
For more information about the report, the International Forum on Globalization, or the tracking of Koch money in politics, check http://www.kochcash.org.
Multimedia Tools for Concerned Citizens and Activists!
IFG has developed a variety of tools for activists to use in order to show their friends and allies another big reason why we need to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline!
Senator Ernst's $19 Million from Koch Explains
Why Keystone is Republicans' Top Priority
(January 23, 2015) -- Newly elected Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa argued, as the official Republican respondent to President Obama's 2015 State of the Union speech, that Americans' top priorities are advanced by approving the "Keystone jobs bill."
Keystone XL is a pipeline that would create up to fifty permanent positions while dangerously exacerbating greenhouse gas emissions and possibly doubling the $100 billion fortune of the world's two wealthiest men, Charles and David Koch.
Outspending all other oil companies and individual donors to advance an agenda of "economic freedom", the Koch network spent at least $19 million to elect Ernst.
With more land leased in Canada's tar sands territory than Exxon, Chevron, and Conoco combined, the billionaire brothers' huge financial interest makes them uniquely exposed to Keystone's failure. The Kochs continue to deny their interest in Keystone --as exposed in IFG's report, Billionaires' Carbon Bomb -- but the brothers' political spending patterns indicate otherwise.
Ernst's Emphasis on Keystone
Signals Kochs' Capture of GOP
Topping a long list of 2014 candidates supported by Koch Cash, Ernst embodies the Kochs' strategy of employing simple stories about average Americans in order to prioritize policies that ultimately only enrich themselves, despite already having more money than Bill Gates.
Koch candidates have changed conservatism, taken over the Republican Party, and now control the Congress with a proven willingness to use the power of the purse to shutdown the federal government over Keystone.
For more than a minute in a speech lasting less than ten, Ernst spoke of Keystone as a "bipartisan infrastructure project." Somewhat surprisingly, the President's only mention of pipelines was that a single pipeline's passage was not enough for him to take any infrastructure bill seriously, suggesting a dangerous openness by Obama to approve Keystone.
Keystone expects to employ a few thousand workers for two years at most while being built, while Koch could benefit one million times more than the average worker constructing the pipeline, according to IFG's report. Billionaires' Carbon Bomb also explains how the pipeline would exacerbate emissions and accelerate a global climate catastrophe.
"Kochenomics" means more desperate people on a dying planet.
Koch greed feeds on Americans' desperation due to record income inequality, especially in rural areas. Simultaneously, the brothers' 32 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the ground in Canada must stay put if the world is to keep below an average global temperature increase of 2C degrees, the tipping-point agreed upon by the UN Climate Convention and the IPCC.
Meanwhile, Ernst's elaboration on the Koch's agenda avoided any mention of this inevitable intensification of economic inequality and ecological catastrophe.
The direction Koch aims to take America, and thus the world, is toward more desperate people on a dying planet. Kochs' agenda will only magnify our worst problems, instead of removing the remaining (yet powerful) obstacles blocking the advance of today's many emerging solutions.
Increasingly, it appears as if our only option is to isolate these two selfish idiots.
IFG intends to play its part by killing Keystone, bursting the Kochs' carbon bubble, and helping to build a broader movement among all Americans to transition from today's "Kochenomics" to local, living economies everywhere.
Learn more here.
Victor Menotti is the Executive Director of the International Forum on Globalization
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.