April 6, 2011- Koch Industries [KCHIN.UL], the oil and industrial conglomerate run by the conservative-activist Koch brothers, has multiplied its spending to lobby for tax breaks and lax environmental regulation in recent years, according to a report published Wednesday.
The report, from the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity (CPI), says Wichita, Kansas-based Koch raised its lobbying budget by more than 23-fold between 2004 and 2008, when it spent $20 million. That year marked a major push by Koch to convince Congress to limit EPA's mandate to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, the report said.
"(T)he company's lobbyists and officials sought to mold, gut or kill more than 100 prospective bills or regulations," CPI reported, drawing on public lobbying disclosures and other sources. Koch declined comment for the report, CPI said.
Koch is controlled by the laissez faire minded siblings Charles and David Koch. The company's activities range from oil, gas and ethanol, to petrochemicals, ranching and forestry. Active in 60 countries, Koch is the second-largest privately held U.S. company after Cargill, CPI said. It had $100 billion in revenues in 2009, Forbes reported. (To view the CPI report click here: here)
Since 2008, Koch has cut its direct lobbying budget to an average $10.25 million a year, the report said. But the Koch brothers have spent additional millions to back anti-regulation U.S. lawmakers and politicians, and to fund groups whose lobbying dovetails with Koch's money-making agenda, CPI said.
The lobbying efforts have not always matched Koch's broader stance on government policies, CPI reported. For instance, the company publicly opposes U.S. subsidy programs, but its lobbyists pressed on Capitol Hill for lawmakers to maintain around $6 billion in subsidies for U.S. ethanol producers, CPI reported.