Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has made no secret of her position against environmental regulation, even going so far as to propose renaming the Environmental Protection Agency as “the Job-Killing Organization of America” during a Republican primary debate.
A glance at her campaign finance records provides some clues as to why she ignores that environmental protections create jobs to take up such a radical stance on environmental deregulation.
Bachmann’s top campaign donors include one of the nation’s largest corporate polluters, Koch Industries. Koch has spent $30,000 in support of her political campaigns since she first ran for the House of Representatives in 2006. The figures for the latest quarter of Bachmann’s nascent presidential campaign have not yet been made available.
Petrochemical giant Koch Industries — which advances a conservative, deregulatory agenda through its large political network — donated $5,000 to Bachmann through its political action committee and ranked as the 29th top donor in her 2010 congressional race. The Koch brothers’ environmental track record explains the attraction to the Minnesota congresswoman:
– Koch Industries has faced over $55 million in civil fine and settlement fees stemming from various oil spills, pollution incidents, and industry cover-ups, including one case in which the corporation was found guilty of negligence and malice in the deaths of two Texas teens in a gas-leak explosion.
– Over 13 Superfund sites currently listed are linked to Koch Industries or one of its subsidiaries.
– They directly lobbied against environmental protection legislation, including the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Act, Clean Air Protection Act and the Superfund Polluter Pays Act.
– Koch Industries and their subsidiaries are attacking current EPA regulations in order to pursue greater profits, ranging from the disclosure of unit-specific or facility-specific greenhouse pollution, national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants from industrial boilers, all of the crude-oil, data-reporting requirements, tighter water-quality standards for stream-dumping, and the monitoring of chemical plant greenhouse pollution.
– An air-pollution study ranks the company 10th on the list of the top 100 air polluters in 2010.
– Koch Industries may face additional costs of anywhere between $1 billion and $40 billion if Congress passed legislation to regulate carbon emissions, according to ThinkProgress estimates.
– Since 1997, the Koch brothers have spent $55 million supporting climate-change skeptics, including the CATO Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, and the “Hot Air” Movement.
– After Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli announced that he would be suing the EPA over its claim that climate change endangers human health, David Koch gave the following remark: “In the interest of full disclosure, I figured we may as well let the world know how proud we are of our investment in this guy.” Koch Industries donated $2,500 to Cuccinelli’s 2010 campaign, and the attorney general attended the infamous Koch retreat in Colorado this summer.
It’s no surprise that Bachmann voted for an amendment to the U.S. House spending bill that would stop the agency from regulating greenhouse gases through the end of 2011. Add to that her championing of the infamous climate skeptic, Chris Horner, from the Competitive Enterprise Institute — which has received over $700,000 from the Kochs. In Bachmann, corporate polluters have an anti-science champion eager to defend their toxic interests.