Cross posted from Scaling Green
Just when you think the Koch brothers can’t get any more active in their relentless anti-environment and anti-clean energy efforts, they do just that.
The energy initiative is being created under the umbrella of the largest Koch network nonprofit in apparent response to a number of developments: the commitment by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer to steer $100 million into ads in several states to make climate change a priority issue in the elections; numerous setbacks at the state level where Koch network backed advocacy groups have been fighting against renewable energy standards; and the new EPA regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
In an April 1 missive, [och fundraising honcho Kevin] Gentry invited Freedom Partners members to join an upcoming conference call about a “significant new Freedom Partners initiative” which he touted as one that would “drive the national narrative around energy and the tremendous benefits of reliable affordable energy for all Americans, especially for the less fortunate.” The email indicated that discussions about the energy project began last summer at another Koch donor event in New Mexico, which drew outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Paul Ryan among others.
Gentry’s email stressed that liberal donors, led by hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, have plans to spend as much as $100 million on climate change issues and ads to make it a top-tier issue in the election. He noted that environmental groups had recently run a $5 million “clean energy” ad blitz in Iowa, Michigan, and North Carolina, all of which are considered “focus” states for Freedom Partners and among the states where Americans for Prosperity has spent over $35 million on attack ads against Democratic Senate candidates on Obamacare.
The details and scope of the new energy initiative, which has not been announced, aren’t clear yet, but it’s expected to cost in the seven figures and be a topic at the Koch donor conference this weekend- especially in light of the Obama administration’s newly unveiled EPA regulations to curb carbon emissions from mostly coal fired power plants….
That’s right, even as multi-billionaire Warren Buffett is preparing to double his $15 billion investment in solar and wind power, the fossil fuel billionaire Koch brothers are moving in the exact opposite direction. Why are the Koch brothers doing this? Very simple: because they’ve spent a lifetime in the taxpayer-subsidized, government-coddled fossil fuel industry and are doing everything they can to keep their gravy train rolling for as long as possible. It seems crazy, especially with wind and solar growing like gangbusters, and with the need to slash fossil fuel consumption for environmental, economic and national security reasons becoming glaringly apparent to policymakers and the American public. Yet the Koch brothers and their fossil fuel allies appear ready to spend millions of dollars fighting to hold back the rising tide – literally, in the case of global warming caused by fossil fuel consumption. The problem for the Koch brothers and their buddies, of course, is that no matter how much money they spend, ultimately they’re going to lose this battle. The only question is how much delay and damage they can do in the meantime.