Fifty senators — 46 Republicans and four Democrats — recently voted to deny the science of global warming and permanently ban limits on the carbon pollution that threatens the health of children and seniors. Not surprisingly, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity group lent its voice in support of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) dirty-energy amendment.
A ThinkProgress analysis finds that the senators voting for McConnell’s amendment raked in $1.8 million dollars from Koch Industries over the course of their careers. Not only did these senators ignore the will of 71 percent of voters who support the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to restrict emissions, but they put the 15 million people with asthma in their states at risk by voting to stop the EPA from limiting carbon pollution. The head caucus of Koch allies — the top ten recipients of Koch cash in the U.S. Senate — received nearly half of all of the contributions from the Koch petrochemical conglomerate, and have over 4.6 million people with asthma in their states:
THE KOCH HEAD CAUCUS Senator Total from Koch Asthma CasesRoberts (R-KS) $152,000 247,361Inhofe (R-OK) $128,650 327,956Moran (R-KS) $104,850 247,361Blunt (R-MO) $96,700 511,717Chambliss (R-GA) $79,950 840,511McConnell (R-KY) $68,050 408,844DeMint (R-SC) $71,000 381,609Thune (R-SD) $68,550 61,934Coburn (R-OK) $68,300 327,956 Cornyn (R-TX) $55,900 1,919,847 Totals $893,950 4,699,779 Asthma figures from the American Lung Association, January 2010; Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 4/11/11. Total contributions to senators and their leadership PACs from Koch Industries — including both PAC contributions and employee contributions — were added up by election cycle.
Koch Industries, the private company of the billionaire Koch brothers, is one of the primary sources of carbon pollution in the United States, and in the 2010 election cycle, even instructed their employees who to vote for.
Senator Pat Roberts has received $152,000 over the course of his congressional career from Koch Industries. Climate Denier in Chief James Inhofe pulled in $128,650 throughout his career, Jerry Moran raked in $104,850, and Roy Blunt $96,700. Over one-third of Koch donations to Inhofe came in the 2008 election cycle. All four Senators signed the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity’s “No Climate Tax” pledge in the 2010 election cycle. These Koch all-stars are climate-change deniers, and leaders of the fight against the EPA.