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Climate Criminals: The Koch Brothers

Above: September 15, 2009 – Greenpeace activists from Canada, the US, and France and place a giant banner reading “Tar Sands: Climate Crime.” and block the giant tar sands mining operation at the Shell Albian Sands outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 . Greenpeace believes the continued development of the tar sands and the lust for oil threatens to derail international climate action in December at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen. ©Colin O’Connor / Greenpeace

Koch Bros. Block Ability of Congress to Fight Climate War

The victims of storms Sandy and Katrina, of droughts, floods and wildfires, will tell you that the death and destruction of Climate Change is a real threat to our national life. So why has the Congress failed to reduce our carbon output or to enact defenses against the events we cannot prevent?

Greenpeace activists set up a "Climate Crime Scene" outside the David H. Koch Theater in New York City's Lincoln Center Plaza on April 7, 2010. Greenpeace activists handed out wanted pamphlets for oil billionaire David Koch and his brother Charles Koch, the two principal shareholders of Koch Industries, an oil supply and refining company that is one of the largest private corporations in the US. Koch Industries is among the biggest anti-climate change legislation lobbying spenders in the oil industry.  (Photograph by Michael Nagle/Greenpeace)
Greenpeace activists set up a “Climate Crime Scene” outside the David H. Koch Theater in New York City’s Lincoln Center Plaza on April 7, 2010. Greenpeace activists handed out wanted pamphlets for oil billionaire David Koch and his brother Charles Koch, the two principal shareholders of Koch Industries, an oil supply and refining company that is one of the largest private corporations in the US. Koch Industries is among the biggest anti-climate change legislation lobbying spenders in the oil industry. (Photograph by Michael Nagle/Greenpeace)

Why is it that when most of the world is reducing the burning of carbon, the United States has only the EPA to limit the burning of fossil fuels? From 2001 to 2012 the National Climatic Data Center has recorded $487 Billion in property damage and 3,952 deaths in the United States. While we lavish more money on the military than it requests, the Congress is doing little or nothing to control or to reduce the impact of climate change?

“Fossil-fuel companies like Exxon and Peabody Energy — which obviously have a business interest in slowing any attempt to reduce carbon emissions — have combined with traditionally conservative corporate groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and conservative foundations like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, to raise doubts about the basic validity of what is, essentially, a settled scientific truth.”  —Who’s Bankrolling Climate Change Deniers? –Time.com, October 4, 2011.

Now we learn that the Koch Bros. have gotten 169 Members of Congress to sign a Climate Obstruction Pledge.  In other words, they will do nothing to reduce our carbon output or its deadly events.

In the last decade, more people have died from Climate Change than died in the attack of 9/11/01! Many of these lives could have been saved, if we had reduced our carbon output and invested in protective measures across the nation. If the Koch Bros. had blocked our war effort after the Twin Towers attack, they would have been tried as traitors. Now they are blocking our ability to save our own people from the Climate Change attack. They are not only making vast sums of money from oil, they are promoting the Sands  XL Pipeline, in which they are heavily invested.

Greenpeace Climate Crime Scene at the Ronald Reagan Republican Center  in Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2010. A fundraiser for California Republican candidate for Senate Carly Fiorina  was being held inside.
Greenpeace Climate Crime Scene at the Ronald Reagan Republican Center in Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2010. A fundraiser for California Republican candidate for Senate Carly Fiorina was being held inside.

In my opinion, this is a crime. It is one thing to provide the Congress with information that supports a point of view; it is another to use your money and influence to enlist Members of Congress in pledges to obstruct urgently needed life-saving legislation. I believe that there are laws on the books that would support the indictment of the Koch Bros. as the criminals they are.  If not, it is time to hold a Congressional hearing on the means they used to promote obstruction of the nation’s urgent business.

We are proud of our large and diverse nation and its democracy. But there can be no effective rule “by and for the people,” if great wealth can tie the hands of our Representatives and prevent their participation in legislation to serve their constituents and save American lives.

Peter G Cohen writes for the internet on issues of  nuclear weapons and Climate Change. He can be reached at: aerie2@verizon.net

©2013 Peter G Cohen

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