March 30 News: Koch Brothers Linked To Anti-Obama Gas Price Ads

Other stories below: Historic sea level rise identified by scientists; Source of North Sea gas leak found

Kochs linked to $3.6M anti-Obama gas price ad

The group launching a $3.6 million ad campaign hitting President Barack Obama on gasoline prices has deep ties to the billionaire libertarian industrialists Charles and David Koch.

The American Energy Alliance is the political arm of the Institute for Energy Research, and sources tell POLITICO that both groups are funded partly by the Koch brothers and their donor network.

The groups are run by Tom Pyle, a former lobbyist for Koch Industries. Pyle regularly attends the mega-donor summits organized by the Koch brothers, including the 2012 winter summit in Indian Wells, Calif., where the Kochs raised more than $150 million to be directed to groups ahead of the general election.

Historic Sea Level Rise Identified By Scientists

The collapse of an ice sheet in Antarctica up to 14,650 years ago might have caused sea levels to rise between 14 and 18 meters (46-60 feet), a study showed on Wednesday, data which could help make more accurate climate change predictions.

The melting of polar ice could contribute to long-term sea level rise, threatening the lives of millions, scientists say.

Sea levels have increased on average about 18 centimeters (7 inches) since 1900 and rapid global warming will accelerate the pace of the increase, experts say, putting coastlines at risk and forcing low-lying cities to build costly sea defenses.

CSI Cold Case: Unlocking the Mystery of Rising Seas

The crime under investigation happened more than 14,000 years ago — a cold case in more ways than one. It was a time when the great Laurentide ice sheets that covered vast stretches of North America had begun to melt, as the most recent Ice Age gave way to the current, relatively warm planet we now live on. At the glaciers’ greatest extent, maybe 4,000 years earlier, so much water was locked in the ice that sea level was more than 300 feet lower than it is now. As the glaciers retreated, the ocean rose at a mostly stately pace.

But then, abruptly, the sea started rising a lot faster, in an explosive episode of ice loss known as MWP-1A (for “meltwater pulse 1A”). Then, after less than a thousand years, it stopped.

GOP blocks Obama’s effort to end tax breaks for Big Oil

President Obama on Thursday called on Congress to end tax breaks for oil companies in a populist speech that sought to turn the blame for gas prices nearing $4 a gallon back onto his Republican critics.

In fiery, campaign-style remarks delivered from the Rose Garden, Obama told lawmakers that they can “stand with big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.”

Senate Democrats followed by forcing a vote to end tax cuts for the five largest oil companies, which Republicans resoundingly defeated.

Source of North Sea gas leak found, says Total

Oil company Total believes it has found the source of the gas leak from its North Sea platform, as it sent two fire-fighting vessels to the edge of the emergency exclusion zone.

The French fuel group said it had traced the leak to a gas pocket in a rock formation 4km (2.5 miles) below the seabed but 1km above the gas reservoir being tapped by the Elgin platform, which was evacuated on Sunday when the leak was discovered.

In an attempt to quell fears about the risks of explosion from the gas cloud which has settled above the area, it said there were now fire-fighting ships on standby at the edge of the two nautical mile (2.3 mile) exclusion zone.

Energy Minister delighted as Scotland beats renewable energy target

Figures revealed today that an extra 45 per cent of renewable energy was generated in Scotland last year compared with 2010.

The statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change statistics mean around 35% of Scotland’s electricity needs came from renewables in 2011, assuming that gross consumption in 2011 is similar to 2010.

This beats the Scottish Government’s target of 31% for last year.

Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing was delighted with the news.

He said: “It’s official: 2011 was a record breaker with enough green electricity being produced in Scotland to comfortably beat our interim target. ”And Scotland met almost 40% of the UK’s renewables output in 2011, demonstrating just how much the rest of the UK needs our energy.

21 Responses to March 30 News: Koch Brothers Linked To Anti-Obama Gas Price Ads

  1. Mike Roddy says:


    Why was Senate Democrats’ move to end oil industry subsidies defeated in the Senate, since they have a majority (51 + 2 Independents)?

  2. Sasparilla says:

    After working for years to stack the Republican deck to their liking, I suppose its not surprising the Koch’s are going for direct involvement in campaign commercials against the current administration.

    Thanks to the Supreme Court the Koch’s have no limit on what they can spend through their front groups.

    I would expect them to be at full war with the Administration for the election – their goal would obviously be a sweep of both houses and the Presidency by the GOP.

    Sometimes it seems like the Koch’s are the real life interpretation of the Spectre organization from the James Bond novels of years past.

  3. Sasparilla says:

    To get the bill up for a vote they have to win with a minimum of 60 votes as the GOP is filibustering absolutely everything just to make it look like the current administration can’t get anything done (very zero sum view of the world from the bug eyed GOP leader in the senate).

    10 years ago a fillibuster might be used once a month or less – these days the GOP uses them every day.

    Here’s a great article that just came out that gives a heads up for how things work in the Senate – its nothing like even 10 years ago. It also illustrates what climate change action would be up against these days.

  4. Tom King says:

    RE: Scottish Renewable Energy

    These numbers coming in from a whole bunch of European countries including Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, etc., are bigger news than people realize. When you double small numbers you get slightly bigger numbers. But when you double big numbers you get massive numbers. How many times do we need to double 35% before it becomes the main source of Scotland’s power? And how many doublings after that before there is an energy surplus?

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Flooding Risk Rises Statewide

    FOR those living or working near flood plains along New Jersey’s ocean or river fronts, it’s been nothing but bad news lately.

    A new study measuring the threat that rising seas pose to coastal communities found that among states with municipalities at elevated risk of severe flooding, New Jersey was tied for third place (with North Carolina). And inland, towns along the Raritan, Passaic and Delaware Rivers have recently been walloped by a series of intense storms that left thousands of home and business owners reeling. The increased frequency of these flood-causing events has scientists wondering if this is the “new normal” for New Jersey, while public officials, engineers and insurance companies grapple with how to respond.

    “We don’t know what normal is anymore,” said David A. Robinson, the state climatologist, noting that 2011 was the wettest year on record in New Jersey. “We don’t know if it’s a trend, or just an episode. We know humans are having an impact on global temperatures, and there’s some suggestion that that’s triggering more rainfall.”

  6. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    “…the bug eyed GOP leader in the senate.”
    a.k.a. Yertle the Turtle, Dr. Suess’s cartoonish characterization of… [Restraint, must show restraint. Mustn’t violate Godwin’s Law.]

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    The Republicans have proved beyond all doubt that if you want to gridlock national legislation all you need is a reliable 41-vote “majority” in the Senate.

    Nothing makes it clearer how anti-American, how utterly morally bankrupt, myopic, and just plain greedy the right wing has become in this country than the action of Senate Republicans. They are the Borg, sans embedded jewelry.

  8. Sasparilla says:

    I agree. Its very sad considering how the Senate worked 10 or 20 years ago.

    The article really lays it out – the Senate requires the parties to work together to get stuff done (unlike the House) and when one party runs it like an in your face war (like the GOP) it ensures nothing gets done.

    Lou, did you see that article about the scientists saying we blew our chance at 2C?

  9. Sasparilla says:

    I know, I know…..

  10. Sasparilla says:

    I was expecting this article was going to be about the Republicans gutting the programs that would return data on climate change – but its actually about the cuts the Obama administration is recommending (some of the things getting cut – like the tsunami buoy program, reducing the number of buoys, seems very, very misguided.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Yes, i thought this too. Cherry picking was not what i expected.

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Hydro-Québec studies osmosis as energy resource
    The utility teams up with Norwegian firm to test the latest in renewable energy technology

    When fresh water meets salt water, such as where a river runs into the sea, enormous energy is released. Statkraft is harnessing this energy for the generation of power through osmosis.

    In an osmotic power plant, fresh water and salt water are shot into separate chambers divided by an artificial membrane. The salt in the sea water pulls the freshwater through the membrane, increasing the pressure on the sea water side. The pressure equals a 120 metre water waterfall with plenty of force to power a generating turbine.

  13. prokaryotes says:


    With SPIEGEL article and more images..

  14. Jay Alt says:

    It is good news and the gains are impressive. But electricity use in Scotland represents only 20% of their overall energy consumption. The rest is obtained from natural gas and oil.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    There are two typos/errors in the first paragraph.

  16. Colorado Bob says:

    7656 US stations set new heat records at night this March , 351 set new lows.

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    The charts for March in the US are going to be eye popping.

  18. J4zonian says:

    How much of Democratic action is real and how much is disingenuous?

    Congressmembers (and I use the word “member” pointedly) can often appear sincere on an issue, knowing that the Senate (or vice versa) or the other party will never accede. So they can appear one way to the public and privately reassure corporate sponsors that there’s no danger of the thing actually passing, and the member is still on the right/corporate side. It’s a common game, anyone can play. The White House, too.