Climate

Koch-funded organizations launch new “Rally For Jobs” campaign to protect big oil profits

CAP’s Joshua Dorner exposes the latest Big Oil effort to dupe the public in this TP cross-post.

As ThinkProgress and others have reported, Koch Industries and its billionaire owners, Charles and David Koch, have played a leading role in the apparently successful effort by polluters to stymie Senate passage of comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.

Not content to simply stop progress, however, the Koch brothers and various Koch-funded organizations have also been actively trying to roll back existing clean air and clean energy laws “” both at the state and national levels.

David Koch, who lives in New York City and whose company is based in Kansas, is secretly bankrolling the Proposition 23 effort to roll back California’s landmark clean energy law. Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity helped make opposition to “cap-and-trade” a Tea Party talking point and then launched its so-called “Regulation Reality” tour to attack Supreme Court-mandated Clean Air Act regulations being finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Today, a new Koch-backed national effort to protect the energy industry, dubbed “Rally for Jobs,” begins with rallies in Texas and will continue next week with events in New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio. While the American Petroleum Institute, Big Oil’s Washington lobbying arm, is the “presenting sponsor” of the Rally for Jobs tour, several Koch-backed groups are also involved:

“¢ FreedomWorks, whose Koch-founded precursor, Citizens for a Sound Economy, received some $5.7 million from Koch foundations.
“¢ Americans for Prosperity, which received at least $5.1 million from Koch Foundations from 2005-2008 and is an offshoot of the Koch-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, which itself received more than $6 million from Koch foundations.
“¢ The American Highway Users Alliance, of which Koch Industries is a member.
“¢ Americans for Tax Reform, which received $60,000 from Koch Foundations from 1997-2008.
“¢ The Institute for Policy Innovation, which received $35,000 from Koch foundations.
“¢ The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, of which Koch Industries is a member.
“¢ The National Taxpayers Union, which has received $20,000 from Koch foundations.
“¢ The Natural Gas Supply Association, of which Koch Industries appears to be a member.
“¢ The Texas Prosperity Project, on whose board of directors sits Bill Oswald, Government & Regulatory Affairs Director at Koch Industries.
“¢ The Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, which recently held an event sponsored by Flint Hills Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.

The Rally for Jobs tour is the latest astroturf attempt by Koch and the rest of Big Oil to use the economic anxiety gripping the nation to stave off any new attempts to crack down on the industry’s emissions and to block new accountability measures in the wake of the BP oil disaster. The front group’s website uses standard energy industry boilerplate repeating the false claim that increased energy use and economic prosperity are inexorably linked:

More energy equals more jobs, higher incomes and greater economic growth. We must come together to tell Washington that our livelihoods depend on the oil and natural gas industry and consumers who rely on access to affordable energy will not be overlooked.

Just yesterday, the Center for American Progress released a report showing that a concerted national energy efficiency program (i.e using less energy, not more) could create 625,000 sustained jobs over ten years, spark $500 billion in investment, and save ratepayers $64 billion that they could then use more productively.

The Rally for Jobs website also implies that the federal government is blocking energy production and somehow threatening jobs, presumably referring to the Obama administration’s deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil industry and some elected officials have been fearmongering over the moratorium for months, but a front page New York Times article from last week noted that job losses as a result of the drilling ban have simply “failed to materialize.” Further underscoring how unreliable the claims of the oil industry often turn out to be, just two of the 33 deepwater rigs idled by the moratorium have actually left the Gulf.

It seems that politics and the fall election may also have played a role in selecting the tour’s stops. Canton, Ohio and Mokena, Illinois, the sites of two stops next week, are not generally known for their role in oil production, but they do happen to be home to vulnerable freshman House Democrats-both of whom voted for comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation last year. Indeed, Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, noted that “we have always encouraged our employees to engage in political activities.”

If this all sounds strangely familiar, it’s because many of the same Koch-backed groups participated in a nearly identical effort last summer. The so-called “Energy Citizens” campaign was widely mocked as the height of energy industry astroturfing, especially after documents were uncovered showing that 15 of the 21 Energy Citizens events were actually planned by oil industry lobbyists.

It seems that when it comes to astroturf groups protecting polluters, almost all roads eventually lead back to the “Kochtopus.”

Joshua Dorner, Communications Director for Progressive Media.

CAP’s Joshua Dorner, Communications Director for Progressive Media.finalpic

15 Responses to Koch-funded organizations launch new “Rally For Jobs” campaign to protect big oil profits

  1. _Flin_ says:

    Oil does not equal energy. Oil is a valuable commodity.

    It is the basis for nearly all of the chemical industry. Essential for plastic, asphalt, lubricants, synthetic fibres (like Polyester), some fertilizers, solvents, coolants, synthetic rubbers (think gloves in hospitals), detergents, nylon, surfactants for cleaners …

    It is not unlimited.

    As soon as we used most of the oil in existence, production will become lower, prices will rise and all of these products listed above will get more expensive. And every job depending on tools made of oil (look at your desk. count the plastic items) will get more expensive and less secure as soon as oil gets scarce.

    Oil is much too valuable too burn.

  2. Colorado Bob says:

    I looked at their ” blog ” yesterday, the latest post had zero comments , and was closed for commenting.

  3. Colorado Bob says:

    More on Japan’s record summer –

    The average temperatures taken at 17 points around Japan from June to August this year was the highest seen since the government started keeping records in 1898, exceeding the average from 1971 to 2000 by 1.64 degrees Celsius, the Meteorological Agency said. The previous record was set in 1994.

    Japan saw high temperatures again Wednesday. They exceeded or equaled record highs for the month of September at 242 out of a total of 921 locations where temperatures were measured, the agency said.

    The temperature exceeded 30 degrees in 789 locations and 35 degrees in 157 locations, it said.

    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/342136,struggles-hottest-summer-record.html

  4. Colorado Bob says:

    South Florida’s summer is hottest on record

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/weather-news/south-floridas-summer-is-hottest-on-record-891366.html

    Initial finding: Hottest Baltimore summer on record

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/business/hancock/blog/2010/09/initial_finding_hottest_baltim.html

    The National Weather Service in Huntsville reported Wednesday that temperatures in both Huntsville and Muscle Shoals were the hottest on record.

    http://www.decaturdaily.com/stories/Summer-hottest-daily-temps on-record,67622?content_source=&category_id=&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=stories&town_id=

    THIS WAS THE WARMEST SUMMER EVER RECORDED AT GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG… WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 81.0 DEGREES. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 80.2 DEGREES IN 1952. FOR THE MONTHS OF JUNE…JULY AND AUGUST…THERE HAVE BEEN 58 DAYS AT GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG WITH HIGHS OF 90 DEGREES OR HIGHER. THE HOTTEST DAYS WERE JULY 8 AND 24 WITH A HIGH OF 100 DEGREES.

    http://www2.wspa.com/blogs/dan-bickford/2010/sep/01/youve-just-made-it-through-warmest-summer-ever-ar-776465/

    The list is rather long, I’ll stop here.

  5. Colorado Bob says:

    Boiling, blazing and blistering are all words one might apply to this August, which likely will end Tuesday as Houston’s warmest month ever.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7177184.html

    6 degrees above normal

    This warmer air flowing into Texas increases evaporation over both the land and sea, and in addition, warmer air can hold more water vapor. So if it’s possible, Houston is more humid this summer.

    Water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide, and overnight it traps heat accumulated during the day from the sun and prevents it from bouncing back into space.

    This is partly why Houston has had such warm nights this August, nearly six degrees above normal.

    In a warmer world, the ocean temperatures seen in the Atlantic this summer could be expected to be the norm, and so this August may well typify a mid-century summer in Houston.

    “It definitely fits the pattern of what you would expect in a warmer world,” Easterling said.

  6. Daniel Ives says:

    Hey Joe,

    OT – There is some video from the debate between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiornia on Proposition 23 and climate change.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/01/boxer-fiorina-debate_n_702976.html?ir=Politics

    Fiornia does some impressive rambling and question dodging.

  7. Arkitkt says:

    @ Colorado Bob,

    I spent the month of July visiting family in Nagoya and the heat was unbearable but the humidity added to the dangers to human health. It was extremely humid.

    About Koch and their Orwellian “job” organizations, they seem to know what they are doing. Talking about jobs and the failed economy was Obama’s task and he’s neglected it. Koch and the rest of those market ideologues don’t care about jobs or prosperity any more than I care about NASCAR but the point is that they are beating Obama to the punch and, unfortunately, it is working.

  8. Jeff Huggins says:

    Societal Skill Building

    Our society (culture, nation, etc.) desperately needs to develop a new and very impressive skill.

    In fact, I think it helps to think of it this way.

    We need to get very, very good at being able to implement Huge, Acute, Effective Boycotts in response to the worst offending companies.

    Here, I’m not talking about three-hundred-person boycotts. Instead, I’m talking about boycotts that ultimately influence the immediate actions of millions and the purchase decisions of tens of millions.

    I’m also talking about boycotts that “change the minds” of people in perpetuity about certain brands. In other words, if (for example) we bring a boycott against ExxonMobil, it will not merely be about present purchases. Instead, it will educate people about ExxonMobil to the degree that many of those people will never, ever want to buy ExxonMobil gasoline again, or any other of their products.

    When people like Koch (who has a company) do things like this stuff, and when a company like ExxonMobil acts as it does, and etc., the bottom line is this: The public needs to get good at promptly implementing boycotts of the size that bring those companies to their knees, figuratively speaking. I’m not joking.

    Again, I’m really, really, really not joking.

    The worst offending people, and companies, are driven by greed for immense amounts of money. To them, only money and power speak. Given that the Supreme Court allows them to spend their money on politics and on misleading ads, and given that far too many politicians do not want to act against their largest financial backers, and given that most of the media don’t want to offend advertisers, the bottom line is that the public has to build the capability to readily, easily, and happily (make it a party!) reduce the inflow of revenues in Big Ways to the worst offending companies.

    Companies need to think — and know! — at this point: “If I do something egregious and selfish and manipulative and deceitful that will continue the global warming problem and fool the public, my revenues (and thus bonuses and stock options and so forth) will promptly take a free fall.”

    We need to develop this as a massive societal capability.

    I’m getting sickened by what some of these folks and companies are doing. There are strong ethical cases against what they are doing. But complaining will do no good, unless we can turn the complaining into actual action that impacts the bottom line of these folks in LARGE ways. That is the plain fact. The plain fact. Take it or leave it.

    Sigh,

    Jeff

  9. Charles and David Koch are the greatest national security threat this nation faces.

    Aside from undermining our democracy, they don’t apparently care if the U.S. doesn’t have enough money to deal with massive sea level rise, and they obviously don’t understand that humans can’t live on this planet with an increase in global mean temperature of another 4-6 °C.

    They are out of their minds.

    Boycott all Georgia-Pacific products.

  10. James Newberry says:

    NPR, Diane Rehm Show today had New York Times/Wall St. Journal discussion of Tea Party with only a glancing mention of Koch brothers without any discussion of fossil fuel industry influence over this “movement,” read agenda. Very biased show.

    However, she is known for some integrity. Joe, there might be an opportunity to ask her for time to present “a fuller discussion,” especially regards numerous sources she may be unfamiliar with at this time (recent Mother Jones, New Yorker, Think Progress, Greenpeace, etc.)

    The emerging fascist nature of the T Party (T for tyranny) and it’s electoral and governmental implications is ultimately a climate change story.

    Thank you for your outstanding work.

  11. mike roddy says:

    Not only are the Kochs national security threats, the oil and gas industries are far less labor intensive than wind and solar, in both plant construction and operation. The whole “jobs” crusade is best translated as “more money for the Kochs, and artificial job security for sunset occupations such as rig and refinery operators”.

  12. Prokaryotes says:

    The thing is that Koch and all other “polluters” can be profitable and green – they just need to learn this immediately. Everybody wants a clean environment – think of the advertising effect if your product is truly clean & green.

  13. Peter says:

    The country’s left-right split is no longer funny

    ‘Ultra-polarization’

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ultra-polarization-its-no-longer-funny-2010-09-01?link=kiosk

  14. fj2 says:

    Koch’s cynical attitude toward people and the future emerges in

    “Covert Operations,” Jane Mayer, The New Yoker, Aug 30, 2010
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

    “The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History, is a multimedia exploration of the theory that mankind evolved in response to climate change . . . . An interactive game in the exhibit suggests that humans will continue to adapt to climate change in the future. People may build “underground cities,” developing “short, compact bodies” or “curved spines,” so that moving around in tight spaces will be no problem.”

    Kind of like the Morlocks in HG Well’s “Time Machine.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morlock

    Kind of curious since “Wells was an outspoken socialist . . . ”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HG_Wells

  15. fj2 says:

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

    Quite interesting parallel about HG Wells’s “Time Machine”

    Social class was a theme in Wells’s “The Time Machine” in which the Time Traveller speaks of the future world, with its two races, as having evolved from

    “the gradual widening of the present (19th century) merely temporary and social difference between Capitalist and the Labourer . . . Even now, does not the East-end worker live in such artificial conditions as practically to be cut off from the natural surface of earth? Again, the exclusive tendency of richer people . . . is already leading to the closing, in their interest, of considerable portions of the surface of the land. About London, for instance, perhaps half the prettier country is shut in against intrusion.”

    Nevertheless, without irony, Wells has this very same Time Traveller speak in terms antithetical to much of socialist thought, referring approvingly and as “perfect” and with no social problem unsolved, to an imagined world of stark class division between the rich and assured of their wealthy and comfort, and the rest of humanity assigned to lifelong toil:

    “Once, life and property must have reached almost absolute safety. The rich had been assured of his wealth and comfort, the toiler assured of his life and work. No doubt in that perfect world there had been no unemployment problem, no social question left unsolved.”