Pollutocrat Kochs sue: Claim that Koch Industries believes in global warming damaged our reputation

Pollution machine Koch Industries is taking to court to defend its reputation as a cesspool of global warming denial. Brad Johnson has the bizarre story.

The right-wing carbon industry giant, owned by Tea Party billionaires David and Charles Koch, has filed a lawsuit in Utah to punish anonymous pranksters who claimed on the company’s behalf that it was discontinuing funding to climate denial front groups.

According to Koch’s lawyers, as a result of the rumor that the company believes in climate science, its “business and reputation were harmed“:

Defendants issued the false press release and set up the fake website with the intent to deceive and confuse the public, to disrupt and harm Plaintiff’s business and reputation, and to draw attention to and funding for Defendants’ activities. . ..

In addition, as a result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff’s business and reputation were harmed, and Plaintiff incurred monetary damages, including costs associated with spending time and money to respond to inquiries about the fake press release and Defendants’ other fraudulent activities, investigative and legal expenses associated with determining the host for Defendant’s website and contacting the host to have it taken down, and investigative and legal expenses associated with ascertaining the identity of Defendants.

The lawsuit claims that “the public was deceived and confused because news organizations published the false press release,” even though the few news outlets that wrote about the release identified it as a “spoof” (New York Times blog) or “phony” (The Hill blog).

The spoof release noted that Koch Industries bankrolls denier groups like Americans for Prosperity, Fraser Institute, Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, the Manhattan Institute, and the Marshall Institute, and argued that “best course forward includes a discontinuation of funding for these organizations, and organizations like them, whose positions on climate change could jeopardize America’s continued global competitiveness in the energy and chemical sectors and Koch Industries’ ability to provide high-quality products and services to the American people.”

That statement is, of course, entirely true. The only thing false in the spoof was the recognition by the pollution company of scientific reality.

Update: Gawker suggests Koch Industries is behind a character-assassination campaign against New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, who wrote a devastating expos© of David Koch’s toxic influence.
— This is a Wonk Room repost via Brad Johnson. Download the Koch Industries complaint.

11 Responses to Pollutocrat Kochs sue: Claim that Koch Industries believes in global warming damaged our reputation

  1. Alteredstory says:

    Honestly, I thought THIS headline was a spoof too…

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    Bizarre from Day one, when industrials started to interfere with science and environmental impact regulations!

  3. Esop says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. Unbelievable.
    Koch better prepare for lawsuits coming their way, say from the middle of this decade and onwards.

  4. Chad says:

    Let me get this straight: The Kochs dump toxins and pollutants on your property, my property, the government’s property, and everyone else’s property, doesn’t pay us a dime and compensation, and then has the gall to sue people who MOCK them for it?

    Wow. Just plain WOW.

  5. Lionel A says:

    Is this on the level?

    Nearly shakes head in disbelief but then realised the story was as on the tin.

    For FUBAR substitute KUBAR and for FUD replace with KUD, chew on that Koch.

  6. John Mason says:

    I was about to say “you couldn’t make it up”, too!

    It just shows what a barking mad world a lot of us realise we now inhabit! It’s Pythonesque, the sad difference being that Python was funny.

    I think we need to recall Graham Chapman from the grave:

    “Now then, you Koch brothers, whoever you are. I like a good laugh. Nobody has a better sense of humour than me. Well, perhaps my wife. And – oh – a few of her friends. But this is a very silly sketch and I want it stopped now. Is that clear?”

    Cheers – John

  7. Mike Roddy says:

    Embarrassing Koch is a noble and necessary act, and could help prepare public support for upcoming lawsuits. Eventually they won’t have judges and presidents (like W Bush) who keep letting them off the hook.

    Mayer’s piece was really devastating. I especially liked the part about the Kochs being repeat offenders for stealing oil from Indian reservations. The fines looked like they were less than the amounts they stole.

    Both Kochs should be arrested and imprisoned, and their assets confiscated as reserves against court judgments.

  8. dp says:

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

  9. meurig says:

    What an opportunity to get the facts about the Kochs out to the public. They’ve just walked into this one…

  10. David B. Benson says:


  11. Chris Winter says:

    I skipped over this the first time. The headline registered as, to paraphrase, “The Kochs are suing somebody for saying they don’t believe in global warming.”

    Good thing I took a second look. This is beyond bizarre. I imagine spoof headlines flowing from it: “Company defends itself against charge that it accepts established science.” “Billionaire Koch brothers incensed over accusation that they believe the majority of world’s climatologists, vow to file suit.” “Koch industries refudiates claim it believes in science, spokesman insists.”

    The brothers do seem sensitive to this sort of mockery. It may be their Achilles heel. If so, I say: Pour it on!