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Free Report:  A Must Read For Those Concerned Not Only About Tar Sands And Pipelines But Also For Those Who Want To Understand The How And Why Of The US Government Shutdown. Senator Pat Roberts hit the jackpot with a donation of $96,900 from the Koch brothers. Many others have done very well. As the saying goes everyone has their price. [1] 
Keystone-pipeline-route
Keystone Pipeline Map by Meclee via Wikimedia

Official Press Release:
International Forum on Globalization Releases New Report Investigating the Koch – KXL Connection.

San Francisco, CA — On October 20th, progressive think tank International Forum on Globalization (IFG) released a report investigating how owners of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch, will benefit should President Obama allow the  Keystone XL Pipeline to be built. The report, entitled ‘Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb: The Koch Brothers and the Keystone XL Pipeline’, reveals Koch Industries substantial interest in the controversial pipeline. Staggering numbers punctuate the report; the Kochs hold up to 2 million acres in Alberta, could earn $100 billion in profits from the project, and have spent upwards of $50 million on congress and think tanks that heavily push for the pipeline.   

The Kochs have long been one of the largest players in the tar sands region of Alberta, Canada. The report connects the Kochs’ 50 year history and large footprint in the Canadian tar sands to the current debate about the pipeline. Since the Kochs are big players, it stands to reason they will be big winners when the pipeline gets built. IFG crunched the numbers and puts forth a compelling answer to why the Kochs have used their influence networks to push for fast-tracking of pipeline – $100 billion in potential profits.   

‘The Kochs have repeatedly claimed that they have no interest in the Keystone XL Pipeline, this report shows that is false.’ said Victor Menotti, executive director of IFG. ‘We noticed Koch Funded Tea Party members and think tanks pushing for the pipeline. We dug deeper and found $100 billion in profits, $50 million sent to organizations supporting the pipeline, and perhaps 2 million acres of land. That sounds like an interest.’ Victor continued, ‘We all know they will use that money to fund and expand their influence network, subvert democracy, crush unions like in Wisconsin, and get more extremists elected to congress.’   

‘The past two weeks of the government shutdown brought to light the irresponsible influence of Koch-funded groups,‘ said Bold Nebraska Director, Jane Kleeb.  ‘Rewarding the Koch Brothers with Keystone XL, who at every turn fund campaigns to mislead Americans on everything from climate to gas prices, is like the President advocating for Sen. Cruz to be the Majority Leader. It makes no sense. Farmers and ranchers in Nebraska are depending on Pres. Obama to see our national interest is not served with a pipeline that lines the pockets of climate deniers and foreign oil.’

It is still anybody’s guess if President Obama will approve the northern leg of Keystone XL. While Obama has hinted there are issues with the pipeline, he has not indicated that he will outright deny the permit or allow it to be built. It is clear that IFG — and a growing number of other organizations — think the pipeline is in the interest of oil billionaires, and not the American public.   

The Billionares’ Carbon Bomb Report is available for download here: http://kochcash.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Embargo_Report.pdf  

For more information about the report, the International Forum on Globalization, or the tracking of Koch money in politics, check http://www.kochcash.org.   

Contact: Victor Menotti, +1-415-351-8065.  vmenotti@ifg.org  
The International Forum on Globalization (IFG) is a global policy think tank based in San Francisco producing reports and events to inform awareness and inspire activism that transition today’s economic system toward an equitable and ecological future
.” http://kochcash.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Press-Release-Draft-For-Report-Release1.pdf (Bold added for emphasis)

[1]  17 of the 18 US Senators who voted against reopening the US Government last week are advocates of the Keystone and have received funding from the Koch brothers.  Although Senator Enzi is not on the list on p. 27 of the above report, he too came out for the Pipeline and he too is said to have received money from the Koch brothers. http://www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases  So, the single possible exception seems to be Mike Lee of Utah, who voted against reopening the government, and who reportedly has Murray Energy as a chief donor.  He may, however, have had indirect Koch funding through the Tea Party or another source. There are actually around 3 times as many Senators who are both advocates for the Pipeline and who received money from the Koch brothers as listed on p. 27.  Among the 18 who dug in their heels and voted against reopening government, the smallest donation by the Kochs was to Senator Grassley for $4,500 and the largest was to Senator Pat Roberts who received $96,900.  It would be interesting to look at all of the Senators on p. 27 and their behavior in conjunction with the debt debates.  But, the information which this study provides correlating Koch donations with advocating the pipeline is already interesting.  It can also help explain attempts at scuttling the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).