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Greenwald writes: "Even though the Koch brothers' businesses put 4.4 million people at risk with pollutants, the Kochs have poured millions into lobbyists' coffers and political contributions to ensure their bottom line stays unchanged by the most basic safety precaution."

Billionaire activist David Koch. (photo: Getty Images)
Billionaire activist David Koch. (photo: Getty Images)

Do the Koch Brothers Want a Toxic Disaster?

By Robert Greenwald, Mike and Friends Blog

24 August 11


och Industries and its army of subsidiary corporations operate 57 chemical facilities in the US and have fought in and out of Congress to avoid a comprehensive safety solution that would mitigate fallout from any natural and man-made disasters, according to a new investigation from Greenpeace.

Even though the Koch brothers' businesses put 4.4 million people at risk with pollutants, the Kochs have poured millions into lobbyists' coffers and political contributions to ensure their bottom line stays unchanged by the most basic safety precaution.

The latest chapter of the Koch brothers disdain for public service and safety confirms much of what we've learned through our Koch Brothers Exposed campaign, which has linked the billionaire right wing brothers to disastrous oil spills, devastating land grabs and attacks on Social Security and public education.

The Kochs' disregard for chemical safety policy, and their tactics they employ to duck responsibility and fund policy beneficial to their businesses and their bottom line is a well-oiled machine they've deployed elsewhere in scores of public policy debates. But their assault against potential safety legislation is heightened because the brothers are directly pouring money into Congress. Politicians of both parties on key committees in both chambers of Congress with control over safety legislation have been on the receiving end of KochPAC donations. When the Koch brothers can pollute at will and disregard the safety of so many non-billionaires, one has to inform others and take action to stop the sale of our democracy.

That's exactly what we're doing. I invite you to join the investigation at our Koch Brothers Exposed page on Facebook, where we're educating folks about the brothers' vast influence on our democracy.

The Greenpeace report is a terrific primer. In light of the brothers' refusal to protect its chemical facilities, the report's discovery of a Koch subsidiary's water, air, hazardous waste, pesticide, emergency planning and preparedness violations - 680 in all - is beyond belief. But that's the Koch way. (The brothers' subsidiary Invista, was ordered to pay $1.7 million for these 680 violations.)

The Koch record is further impugned with their position favoring formaldehyde. The brothers use the carcinogen to make fibers and certain materials. Formaldehyde exposure leads to cancer, and just like the brothers' position against Social Security or safety regulations, the Koch brothers fought (and lost) the battle to rightfully classify formaldehyde as a cancer causing chemical. If and when a fact like that causes the Kochs to lose a few dollars, we've seen them do everything they can to discredit and rewrite history and the public record.

The Koch brothers have billions at their disposal, but by educating others and taking action we can stop the sale of our government. Democracy is not a spectator sport so be part of our movement at our Koch Brothers Exposed page on Facebook. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+30 # hms 2011-08-24 22:23
I'd say these jerks and their cooperate buddies essentially own our country--and really don't give a damn about anyone except their own bank accounts.

I would like to have someone do a piece on "Just what do the Koch brothers actually want"? (Other than more money).
+12 # artful 2011-08-25 07:31
More Money.
+35 # giraffee2012 2011-08-24 22:30
Thanks to the Supremes - we now have the "best government money can buy"

I've never advocated killing anyone and war makes me sick -- but if somebody offed the Koch brothers I would not blink an eye!

They are sick people who inherited $$ and then wined/dined Scalia/Thomas before the Supremes passed the 2010 "person hood" -- HOW CAN UNLIMITED $$ = Free Speech (1st Amendment rights)----

Now, listen to this: Walker (WIS) and Cantor (Senator) -- are NOW saying they need money from the FEDERAL government for "disasters" in their states!!!!!!!!!!

And they think that money is coming from the poor (SS & Medicare, Education, and all the "entitlements we paid for) ----

President Obama: When you give you PLAN next month --- these creeps have given you all the amunition you need to MAKE SURE YOUR PLAN is sound and that (if/when the GOP/TP says "no" as usual) you will have to give a quick/concise speach of YOU SAID: "this" and they SAID "no" -- and WHY -- and they asked for $$ in August 24, 2011.

Just matke it simple and direct. Small one syllable words with a 1. 2. 3.. etc. Then post it on the WEB (ETC)

+7 # Glen 2011-08-25 11:11
giraffee, I have a long list of people who have contributed to the disintegration of this country and have committed crimes against (all) humanity that I would like to see someone put a bullet into. They always get away with it. However, there are so many of these people and corporations that there is nowhere to begin.

Anyone know if these brothers are involved in providing fracking materials or are involved in the process?
0 # dwight 2011-08-27 10:11
I've been compiling a list of the evil doers too. Care to share yours?
0 # Glen 2011-08-28 16:52
Oh hey, dwight. Sure I'll share, but of course this may not be accepted in the RSN editing process:
Henry Kissinger
Dick Cheney
Donald Rumsfeld
The entire Bush family
Such as the Koch brothers
Every person who has tickled countries into accepting oil companies
Paul Wolfowitz
Bill Kristol
All who signed the PNAC
Condoleza Rice
David Rockefeller
Eric Prince
Hillary Clinton
A bunch of folks that are already dead
Karl Rove
There are many more. Remember trash Can Man in the book "The Shining"? One of my favorite characters. (not in the movie)
+24 # GLADYS 2011-08-24 22:38
the brothers are public enemies #1 and #2.
+7 # racp 2011-08-25 09:30
Quoting GLADYS:
the brothers are public enemies #1 and #2.

Gladys, to your comment: I looooooove it!
0 # Charlie Peters 2011-08-24 22:51
Will GM corn fuel ethanol affect the beef?
-5 # propsguy 2011-08-25 09:00
cows are supposed to eat corn antway
+3 # Glen 2011-08-25 16:17
"Cows with guns"
+7 # photonracer 2011-08-25 19:57
Quoting propsguy:
cows are supposed to eat corn antway

No cows are grazer of grasses. They are not well equipped to metabolize grains (corn is a grain even though the plant is a grass type) When cows eat corn the product becomes fat. Fat that tastes so good when barbecued, then kills us in evolutionary revenge.
+1 # Glen 2011-08-26 07:22
Good one photonracer. Corn, however, is a grass.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:03
Actually no ones body can digest corn. We take what we need and rest goes. It has no real value, it robs the earth. It is a it will be coated with RoundUp..mmm good
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:02
Yes and the beef will affect your organs. GMO seeds have round up on them..ask Monsanto, GE, GM Foods and 200 other products. So eat away, this is just more to have population control.
Hope they eat it too

Lots of info on GMO, start reading as it may be available next year!
+20 # LeeBlack 2011-08-24 22:51
Too bad, the money spent on fighting regulations could be invested in making better, safer products. The corporations could still make money and consumers would be better off.

Ah, capitalism.
+5 # BradFromSalem 2011-08-25 09:22

In the long run the invisible hand of capitalism will most often supply the winner between persons that make bad products and those that make ones that are better.

Unfortunately, there could be numerous deaths that occur while we wait until that slow moving invisible hand corrects things. Additionally, if the persons making a bad product manipulate the market through tactics like monopolies and black mail, the invisible hand is slowed down even more.

Too many lives are at risk to wait for that damned hand to get around to fixing things. We need regulations and the rule of law to protect ensure that making safer, better products is the entry fee into the game of capitalism. Dangerous, bad product makers need not apply.
+6 # giraffee2012 2011-08-25 12:27
Quoting LeeBlack:
Too bad, the money spent on fighting regulations could be invested in making better, safer products. The corporations could still make money and consumers would be better off.

Ah, capitalism.

But they want to destroy the USA -- maybe they, like Hitler, are delusional - who want to be "KING"! psycho-pathetic (can't remember the psych term they gave Hitler - but it fits)
+20 # angryspittle 2011-08-24 23:33
These sociopathic bastards belong behind bars.
+18 # john L. Grahm 2011-08-25 00:40
Koch brothers need to be stopped using their billions to undermine the quality of life for us non-billionaire s.
+18 # Progressive Patriot 2011-08-25 01:16
The simple fact is, they could stop wasting money on lobbying, put it into "greening" their multiple companies, and _still_ make money. Others have done it.

Here's one who did:
+17 # rf 2011-08-25 05:35
You can bet that these boys are really careful with chemicals around their own houses. We should make sure their grand kids have good exposure and then they'll think a little, maybe. Probably not...pricks like this would be serial killers if they weren't rich.
+2 # giraffee2012 2011-08-25 12:28
Are you sure (rf) they can even have off-spring? They appear impotent for a real life adventure -- t0o busy screwing the USA to have a family (get my meaning?)
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:05
They are serial and soon to be cereal killers. Personally they do not care what their family eats, they will not care when kids run to MacD's or buys Cheerios
+5 # BradFromSalem 2011-08-25 06:29
I guess the Tea Party is right. The Koch brothers have more money than almost anyone, that means they are very, very smart. It also means they must work very, very hard. Why do us lefties think we know better than these smart, hardworking men?

Surely they must be correct that formaldehyde and other chemicals are not bad for our health. Besides if you are afraid of breathing it, don't work in the plants that use it. Or at least buy a mask.

So why are we and especially the Koch Brothers paying taxes to create rules and regulations that would prevent them from using so-called toxic chemicals? And the insult of using their tax dollars to make laws that make it harder for them to make more money.

I get it now. Someone please put me in touch with Warren Buffett so I can explain to him what I just figured out. Lets do it fast before we raise taxes on these Koch-Suckers and even worse send them to jail.
-6 # MidwestTom 2011-08-25 08:33
Dupont and this story. Do you remember Freon and the ozone hole? What happened to the ozone hole? Years ago I worked for a company that used Freon 12 and 21 by the cylinder all made by Dupont. One day a salesman arrived offering us Freon made by Allied Chemical for 20% less than Dupont charged, and of course we bought. About one year later a salesman arrived offering us Freon made in Brazil for about half of what Dupont charged. Then two years later 'scientific research funded by DuPont found that Freon was causing a hole in the ozone. Freon by the way is heavier than air. The EPA got involved and eventually outlawed the use of Freon's and guess what, DuPont had replacement s ready to go, and recaptured 100% of the market for refrigerant gas. What happened to the Ozone hole? It has now come out that it apparently has been there since as long as man has been able to measyre it, and it is unchanged today.
+14 # BradFromSalem 2011-08-25 09:11

Interesting story. I am not sure what your point is, but what I get out it is that corporations can get away with manipulative lies that natural persons would be prosecuted for.
0 # racp 2011-08-25 09:43
Agree, Tom Toles couldn't have said it better (in 2004).
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:07
And we were helping to make things better but that would be beyond your concept...
Keep using freon as it can make an ozone hole in your life!
+6 # Linda Carmichael 2011-08-25 08:47
What do the Koch brothers actually want other than money? POWER!
+16 # Barbara K 2011-08-25 08:47
Of course the Koch Bastards don't give a crap what they do to this country or to us. They are out to destroy us and are using our own simple-minded people among us to do it. They need to be stopped any way possible, our lives, and very livelihood depend on it.
+6 # giraffee2012 2011-08-25 12:32
Quoting Barbara K:
Of course the Koch Bastards don't give a crap what they do to this country or to us. They are out to destroy us and are using our own simple-minded people among us to do it. They need to be stopped any way possible, our lives, and very livelihood depend on it.

Agree Barbara - but they have BOUGHT the Supremes == but maybe someone will "do it" and send them to HELL.

They are behind the "union busting" and all who want to down SS/Education/Me dicare/ etc.
+12 # reiverpacific 2011-08-25 09:01
They're not so smart really!
I mean, when the air is unbreathable without a specially-evolv ed set of gills, when the oceans are toxic sinks, unsuitable for even sailing their yachts on, and the land is flattened, barren, infertile and unsustainable, what kind of quality of life are these people lookin' at?
Do they build little armed satellites to circle the planet in their rarefied atmosphere, nestling on their piles of cash -or they build off-planet tax havens on the moon- whilst the rest of gasp for existence?
You can't eat, drink or breathe money and power.
They really are pathetic y'know, if you take the broad view. Our combined task is to stop 'em screwing it up for not just ourselves but the other life-forms we share this wonderful mother-planet with.
That, they have no right to do!
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:09
We are pathetic as they as others having been doing this for 40 years and everyone ignored us environmentalis ts
+4 # Carolyn 2011-08-25 09:27
Makes me think of Bob Cratchit's conversation with Scrooge -- on reducing the population.
0 # MidwestTom 2011-08-25 09:37
The Kochs have succeeded in many ways because they do not have layers of management that public companies do. they are known for responding very fast to profitable opportunities, and beating the competition.. I went to the recommended website Koch Brothers Exposed, I found a bunch of people raving against the Kochs, but I did not find any reference to actual facts about a major oil leak, or their taking any more risks than other companies. Much of their wealth comes from the design of distillation towers and trays where their company is considered the best in the business.
+5 # giraffee2012 2011-08-25 12:38
They inherited the $$. There's a third brother who has even written articles about his disapproval of these 2 creeps.
+1 # BradFromSalem 2011-08-25 13:12

Of course they are better than all of us put together. The Koch Brothers are the quintessential Rich, White Guys.

Just because they may not have broken any laws is meaningless when they can have laws made to their liking.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:11
they break laws but the fines are minimal, they even weasel out of them. Most DEP and such are paid to look other way as are those in the State Government as they need that campaign money. EPA fines and waits, waits for these Corporations to pay up. Look up how many fines are unpaid Budget...joke
+2 # photonracer 2011-08-25 20:00
Yes and he attended a television interview where he turned his brothers in for stealing oil from a native American tribe. They paid a very small fine for stealing millions.
+7 # jwb110 2011-08-25 10:22
As usual the right wing is penny wise and pound foolish. The money they spend on lawyers and lobbyist would more that solve the problem of safety in their installations. What is wrong with these guys?
I guess it proves that being smart and making all that money can be exclusive of one another.
+5 # Doug600 2011-08-25 11:15
Don't worry about the Koch Brothers' bottom line.
I'm sure they are covered.
I'm sure one of their companies makes toxic waste cleanup supplies and equipment, and another makes pills for treating the cancer and other diseases they cause, and another sells medical equipment to hospitals.
And if all else fails, I'm sure they also own many cemeteries and funeral homes, headstone carvers, and cremation companies.
Scum like the Kochs make money no matter what happens, no matter who dies.
Capitalism at work.
+3 # cake eater 2011-08-25 11:30
If the Kochs would simply use the vast sums they spend on public relations and lobbying on safety and environmental concerns, there would be no problem. Corporations only care about PR. BP, after polluting the Gulf of Mexico for years to come, was (and is) only concerned about public perception, and they spend freely to create positive perceptions. If they would abandon this destructive mindset, they could put money where it is useful, as in cleaning up the mess they created and compensating those whose lives have been destroyed. Owning their mistakes, to me, would create positive public perception, maybe even the perception that they actually give a damn about the planet and the human race.
+3 # Happy 51 2011-08-25 11:44
I think they are trying to create more jobs by providing clean-up opportunities. (Sarcasm....)
+4 # giraffee2012 2011-08-25 12:39
You really mean jobs as grave diggers?
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:13
Good one and stupid thing is they then have insurance rates go up when these people have health problems
+1 # tcatt57 2011-08-25 11:57
What happens when you choke 2 chickens, you get 2 dead Kocks!
+1 # Don Thomann 2011-08-25 14:34
Now, wait a minute - suppose you are one of the richest men in the country; you are fully aware that climate change will soon limit the supply of life-giving food and water, you know that over-population will soon make life impossible and you also know that unless you get rid of all that excess population you're toast - just like the rest of the world. OK?
Would you also try to reduce the world's population so that YOU can be a survivor, or do you care about the world beyond yourself? Think about it.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:15
I believe all these Cretins believe they are going to another Planet. Really why the rush to look at every planet? Survival We stay here work and die for them
+1 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-08-25 19:59
These are NOT RICH OR WEALTHY PEOPLE. I will call them what THEY ARE; GLUTTONOUS OF GAIN AND DRUNK WITH POWER!!! Rich or wealthy people have a sense of humanity and a conscience; THESE TWO DO NOT!!! Nor do they want one! They are one of the main cogs in the machine of the party of "GREED, OPPRESSION, AND POWER-MONGERING !!!!"
0 # VSweet 2011-08-26 16:34
In the end the Koch's brothers will reap what they truly deserve evil and they will have sudden lost of their wealth.

Their money cannot buy them peace, their money cannot buy good health, their money cannot reverse their age, their money cannot buy them longetivity and
they cannot spend it where they are going.

Tell the Koch brothers to take this message to the bank and deposit it.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-08-26 17:00
Perhaps the Koch Bros and their Families would like to step up into the Spot
light and drink some of this Formaldehyde for us.
Watched a news show saying that nothing has harmed us for years, decades and the companies have used same chemicals. Not so. They are using more of, mixing more because the lobby and buy off the good ole FDA. So perhaps the FDA would also like to join the Kochs and expose their Families for us to the Chemicals that are so safe in all our products.

That would be so Noble.

{ay attention to what you buy. Remember people Like Kochs are dumping their waste products in Lakes near you ask NJ... Yes Polluters don't stop at manufacturing, they do not want to pay the cost to do the right dumping with permits so they dump along roads, and they do it all the time everywhere...
We have been telling you for years and you say we do not know what we are talking about. But time to trash the Koch Bros and you are experts.
0 # giraffee2012 2011-08-27 01:04
We are fighting a war on terror -- Isn't that what we're paying our SS/Medicare/Edu cation/Bridges/ etc on? The biggest terrorists to USA are the Koch Brothers, The Supremes (who gave allowed the Koch brothers to BUY our government, Wall Street hedgers + toxic loaners, etc.) -- so I say let's put our money where the real war is: Washington, DC (W.H., Congress, DOJ, SEC, and all the fat cats who are now ruling us - we the people).

Bernie Sanders---- you have a few months left to put you name on the ballot and run for President. There are a few other good people in Congress who you can pick for VP (such as the Sen from OR -- his name eludes me)

You are "for the people" and there is no doubt about your understanding of the REAL constitution - which does not allow people to buy our government to get what they want (put us poor, plain people on the road to nowhere)---- My g-d ---- Please keep showing up on TV on ALL stations with your statements of truth.

Then all you anti-TP/GOP - get out and vote and get all your neighbors/frien ds/relatives, strangers -- to vote

Dems have lost more elections from simply not voting.

BTW Cantor said if the East Coast (From Irene) needs $$, they can get $$ from CUTS!

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