Friday, August 29, 2014

Lee Fang — Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal

‘Lifestyles of the Rich Environmentalists,’ produced by a group called the Institute for Energy Research, is a slick web video campaign designed to lampoon Leonardo Dicaprio and as hypocrites for supporting action on climate change. The claim is that wealthy celebrities who oppose industrial-scale pollution supposedly shouldn’t fly in airplanes that use fossil fuels. The group, along with its subsidiary, the American Energy Alliance, churns out a steady stream of related content, from Facebook memes criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency, to commercials demanding approval of new oil projects like the Keystone XL, to a series of television campaign advertisements this year attacking Democratic candidates in West Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Alaska. On Capitol Hill, IER aggressively opposes any effort to repeal tax breaks afforded to the oil and gas industry.
Documents obtained by Republic Report reveal for the first time that the group was actually founded by none other than Charles Koch, the petrochemical, manufacturing, and oil refining tycoon…
Republic Report
Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal
Lee Fang

1 comment:

Ryan Harris said...

I think it is an interesting idea. It's too easy to demonize as evil the industry that produces the fuels but give a pass to those who consume the fuel. The details on consumption are highly skewed where a few percent of people consume the vast majority of fuel, and yes, it is mostly the rich and famous that use lots of the most inefficient forms of transportation, have many large houses, and buy lots of exotic manufactured goods created and shipped from every corner of the globe.

There should be some accountability and commitment on people to reduce their own consumption if they seriously think greenhouse gas a problem. We've plenty of alternatives now. Forego the tropical fruit and have a locally grown apple. Take a train instead of a plane. Use wind or solar and buy a battery system for your house, a few hundred thousand is nothing when the house costs several million, right? Use an electric car charged by a solar array. Sail across the sea instead of flying to Europe. Help to solve the engineering challenges that make the decisions difficult for everyone rather than simply saying you oppose greenhouse gases but never actually do anything that actually reduces consumption in a meaningful way.

Demand for alternatives creates better alternatives. Koch industries and Exxon have patents on all the chemicals needed to produce your batteries and solar panels and more efficient homes, all people need to do is buy the stuff and Koch and Exxon will produce it, happily. It takes two to tango and it isn't Exxon or Koch that lack the willingness and technology to make environmentally friendly products, it is mostly the unwillingness of consumers to pay extra or slow down and inconvenience their own schedule for the environment.