The Guardian: The Kochs’ Keystone clique exposed

Only the Koch brothers' club of billionaires and political cronies will profit if the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline goes ahead

-by Robert Greenwald

September 8, 2011- Charles Koch, one of our country's most prolific conservative donors, was recorded praising his oil, energy and Wall Street friends who contributed millions of dollars to his political causes. That Koch likely referred to President Obama as Saddam Hussein and framed the upcoming election as the "mother of all wars" overshadowed the real news.

These are the disclosures from the Koch brothers' secret strategy sessions. The recording at the centre of the controversy was taken from the most recent Koch seminar in June – and we now know the litany of polluting tycoons and industrialists who are allied with the Kochs in ideology and corporate greed.

And like the Koch brothers, this millionaires' and billionaires' club stands to gain from the hazardous and unnecessary Keystone XL oil pipeline, which passed a critical assessment in Hillary Clinton's state department. The billionaire brothers are the subject of our activist community that's taking action to stop the Kochs on this controversy and other critical policies that affect our society and health.

The Koch brothers would profit from this oil pipeline at the expense of working families, who live and work along the approximately 2,000 miles of the pipeline's route. The brothers own almost all of the $100bn Koch Industries, which is "among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters", according to a Koch subsidiary's website. The Kochs also operate an entire business line called Koch Exploration Canada, LP, which is devoted to exploring and refining one of the most toxic energy sources on Earth. Koch Industries handles 25% of this oil, and the brothers stand to make millions of dollars from the pipeline's construction, which could generate $15tn for special interests in North America.

We've told the state department that we don't need this pipeline. A shorter predecessor pipeline has had multiple spills in multiple locations in the US, damaging wildlife havens and American communities. There's even proof that an oil pipeline extension would actually raise the price of oil in the midwest. 


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