Koch Brothers close to control of House Energy Committee
Once too right wing for most right wingers, billionaire polluters now wield clout on Energy and Commerce Committee-
Koch brothers now at heart of GOP power. “The billionaire brothers’ influence is most visible in the makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where members have vowed to undo restrictions on greenhouse gases.” By Tom Hamburger, Kathleen Hennessey and Neela Banerjee. LA Times.
New editorial. New York Times. Clean Air Under Siege
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
50 Responses to Koch Brothers close to control of House Energy Committee
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The Republican agenda is BOGUS. Armed with this imaginary agenda from the “american people”. Now that the KOCH’s have been exposed, it is time to shine the light on their real agenda. I think they are making a mistake by not focusing on jobs, and trying to turn the clock back on social issues like abortion. Wasn’t that the mandate of the last election- debt and jobs- not abortion and EPA legislation? The look on Charles Koch’s face as he looked down on his anti-Koch demonstators was telling.
I don’t understand why 70 year old billionaires cant sit back and enjoy their money without meddling in politics…
They got there billions because they have “type A” personalities and huge ego issues. I wonder the same thing, if I had 10 Million I’d buy a 300 acre ranch on a river in central Idaho…But then I think, why not work a couple more years and have 30 million (if I were rich and a CEO or something) to buy 1200 acres on a river etc…I guess some ppl are never content. Plus, it’s fun to be the CEO of a multibillion dollar company I would think. Once you’ve done that for a time, it’s onto the next thing…politics.
Unfortunately for many who become wealthy in this country, the next step is to try and control the political process, this has gone on since the founding of this country…
Usually. I guess having wealth is like a heroine addiction, once you start, you just can’t stop.
After following many links accompanying this article, I finally got Forbes.com and found a link to the Koch Industries web site and found this page that should make anyone with a positive IQ on a number line roll their eyes and wonder what can be done to thwart these resource thieves.
I can see a national strike in the works and don’t know when it will come but when enough citizens figure out that such action might be their only hope, it will sure come to pass. Capitalism is dying a long, protracted death and is likely to take a lot of us with it when it goes, especially if these guys have their way.
I wonder how much they participated in the funding of Blackwater/Xe…? And the other mercenaries we have making the world a more miserable place for most of us?
You saying that they are not the free marketeers the media people tell us the Koch Brothers are? 😉
Well, depends on how you experience the “free market”. Milton Freidman was probably their prophet…
The free market system is what got us multinational corporations who have created that “loud sucking sound” of jobs going overseas to dollar-a-day labor to make all those wonderfully cheap oil-based products that Walmart offers up.. basically junk-including “foodstuffs”. And this Walmart things is only good because we don’t have to pay so much cash for stuff that not only poisons us but takes our livelihoods from us in droves.
Had to look for a job lately? Good luck.
If the US is now run by these guys who want to rule the world, we’re almost there BTW, good luck trying to get anything back. What they want is unfettered ability to do whatever they want, at everyone else’s expense, until there is nothing left. They promote serfdom and will likely not stop what they are doing to take down all of our freedoms and render us slaves. If we weren’t subsidizing them and writing laws just for their benefit, we would have a better chance at undoing them.
Egypt could happen here in our lifetime(s).
Now Why is the Koch Brothers being singled out when there are how many Billionaires who are in actuality controlling the political affairs of this country. People are pointing out the Koch Brothers when it comes to the Republicans. But what about George Soros on the Democrats. And what about the Rockefellers, the Rothchilds, and many other extremely wealthy people. In my opinion, both of our political parties were bought off a long long long time ago. And how many of our politicians of both parties including both Bush and Obama, Cheney and Gore, are actually puppets of the extremely weathly, wall street, and the world’s corporations. Do they really have the interests at heart for us little people and this planet we live on? No I Sincerely Doubt It! For all all all of them, both the backers of the republicans as well as the Democrats, for them it is just a matter of money and control over us Useless Eaters. I do NOT Trust any of them!!! I do NOT Trust George Soros, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, the Rockefellers, the Rothchilds, the Bushes, the Clintons as much as I distrust the Koch Brothers. And with the weathly controlling seemingly everything, think I just want to Wander in the Wilds and Enjoy Life the rest of my days while I can . One might disagree with me on this but just this is just my personal opinion and my two cents worth.
No. Not true. The liberals walk on water here! Do not, I repeat let them in on the dirty lil’ secret! Their little brains will explode. George Soros and GE=Good. Koch n’ crones and Murdoch=Bad, very bad…Rinse and repeat.
Been watching a little too much Fox I see. Let’s talk apples to apples. With the Koch’s we are talking about one of the largest polluters on the planet. This company is singlehandedly trying to confuse the public on pollution and global warming issues. For the most part liberals, not all, are against environmental pollution- it’s what they believe. The radical right sees environmental policy as an obstruction to capitalism and corporate growth. Do some research please
“This company is singlehandedly trying to confuse the public on pollution and global warming issues”.
Of course they are trying to confuse the public, because these environmental laws and regulations affect there bottom line. They are businessmen not Jane Goodalls. I see know problem w/ them trying to influence the public towards laws and regulations that they want. The other side does the same thing.
“The radical right sees environmental policy as an obstruction to capitalism and corporate growth. Do some research please”
Ummm, environmental policy does obstruct capitalism and corporate growth when the policy is not enforced across all affected governments, states, or countries. For instance, if India and China have less environmental laws and regulations then business will obviously move operations to that country. Yikes, thank god you all do not run the country.
***I watch and listen to a wide variety of opinions, may I suggest you do the same***
Huffington post and MSNBC aren’t all that’s out there. 😉
For What it is Worth. In what I have experienced in life, for a lot of the liberals, their poop stinks just as much it seems to myself.
First, I am quite environmental but Independant believing in the old Indigenous Peoples – Native American ways. I am also a believe in the old Paleo Diet.
Now I have been crticized by some Environmentalists and Liberals is:
* Have Been Criticized ForEating and Using the Wild Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants in my wilderness Wanderings. Yes this has happened to me by Environmentalists – the PETA type.
* Being an advocate for Self Sustaining and Off the Grid Lifestyles. It seems some environmentalists hate this it seems. yes this has happened with me being criticized by some environmentalists for taking this position.
* For hiking off the trail in my wilderness wanderings.
* For being against hiking fees and wilderness trail permits.
* For willing to hike and wander in wilderness areas where there might be endangered and threatened animals. Some think that all these areas should be off limits to all people including hikers period.
* For being an advocate for people to walk, bicycle, and take public transporatation as much as possible. It seems there arwe quite a few environmentalists who lovvveee their SUV’s a little too much it seems. Anymore this is something that I can hardly mention anymore without being criticized severely so to speak. I personally do not have a vehicle and refuse to get one and about walk most everywhere I go.
* For eating meat and not being vegan – Vegetarian in my lifestyle so to speak.
* For not being settled down in some career and working my life away as moist people. For that I spend how much of my life wandering in the wilds and living out of the so called box it seems.
And more. So I am anymore quite Independant. For myself, the liberals poop stink just as much as many conservative Republicans in what I have seen. It seems as many liberals have to straighten out their own lives as much as many Republicans it seems. Why I have been criticized on some of the above really strongly bewilders me anymore. Anymore I just want to wander the wilds as I can and live close to the earth. And being called nothinng but a consumer of stupid material made stuff in China angers me personally. I am so much more then a consumer. And Yes my first post is True and many people – sheeple had better wake up while they can. there are just as many who control things on the liberal Democratic side as the conservative Republican side in my opinion sp wake up. All of our modern day politicians are just pawns of the super rich.
This is just what have experienced and my opinion. But I do wish everyone the best and Enjoy life!
Kayla and Wolf Moderate,
I do have my preferences among the billionaires, but it is terribly wrong that they are making our political and economic decisions for us.
When we have to count on the “good” billionaires beating the “bad ones” (leaving which is which for you to decide), it should be obvious that we are no longer much of a democracy.
Fair enough Ralph. Do not have the background that you have, but this is the way I “feel” about our democracy (or lack thereof).
Perhaps if people put down there Iphones, turned off “American Idol” and “Dancing w/ the Stars”, we wouldn’t needd to rely on the “billionaires” to decide on economic, environmental and any other policy they see fit to influence. Dunno, just seems that we aren’t in a democracy due to laziness on the citizens behalf.
Do Agree Ralph! Yes I also find it Absolutely Horrible in how
these Billionaires are seemingly directing our future. When I
see all of these Billionaires controlling everthing on both
sides, that is why I am so pessimistic on our future it seems
anymore personally. How much have we the American
People been so dumbed down anymore in my opinion. And
this is why I say that will continue to wander in the wilds As
Long As I Can. Who knows what next these Billionaires will
decide for ‘our’ personal future. Am sooooo personally
happy in what I have seen and experienced in the deep
wilds thru the years. Those Deep Wilds in my opinion is
the ‘Real World’!
Ralph, Wishing You the Best!
Wall Street and the super rich still weaving their bullshit tales:
It appears an owner of the New York Mets and the firm for which he works Sterling Equities, first pleaded that Bernie Madoff swindled them. Well, now the trustee for those who lost money to Madoff is asking Sterling to pay back as much as $300M which allegedly represents the amount they benefitted from Madoff. Lies, lies and more lies from the super rich.
Then there is Chase bank which has ended a program to defer student loans for service members in the military. They have called loans on service members in war zones and illegally collected something like $2M in fees which are now having to be reimbursed.
Wall St. had a great year for 2010 bonuses.
Yeah, it is all going to revert back to the way it was three years ago under the new Republican leadership – all because the Dem base was lazy.
The big corporate lobby has to be kept out of DC as much as possible. It has never been, and will never be completely out of influence in politics, but corporate influence has been trending upwards for at least a couple of decades now.
I don’t hate the Koch Brothers. Business are created for profit. Business should be free to operate within the confines created by society. Our job as a voting base is to create those confines based on sound judgement. I personally believe that a healthy concern for the environment and its preservation is in the best interest of almost all americans. It is such a tenous balance between preservation and promoting a healthy economy.
Business should never be looked at as a single entity. Big corporate interests and the interests of small business owners are often not aligned and I wish more voters could make that distinction.
The problem now is that there is a growing segment of our voting base that is being convinced that what’s good for business is always good for the american people. For them it’s as simple as supporting business just because liberals & unions are enemies of business, and liberals and unions are evil, so business must be good. A great example is most of the people who support the shipment of those megaloads across Idaho and Montana, even though those loads do almost nothing for their local ecnomies and are really nothing more than giant tributes to how far our manufacturing base has fallen.
We are doing a terrible job at creating the appropriate confines for business to operate in these days. I don’t really give a shit whether the Koch Brothers are just greedy, or they believe that they are great american patriots, I just know that their political agenda is going to be awful for average americans. No big corporate interest should wield that much political power.
++I don’t hate the Koch Brothers.++
Actually, you should learn to at least dislike them. Their politics and business practices (some of them illegal as proven by court settlements and other prosecution remedies). For one thing, they committed fraud against Indian tribal interests in oil fields in the Midwest, by very significantly under-reporting the amounts of oil and gas they extracted from tribal lands under leases. This self-regulating extraction had them doctoring records that deprived the tribes of large amounts of royalties, in the tens of millions $$$, and was so bad one of the Koch family turned on the others.
I think I summarized this crap many months ago on this forum. If the truth be known, and had more prosecutions resulted these guys would have been behind bars long ago. The problem with some (not all) of the super rich are that they don’t get scrutinized enough. The SEC, for example, thought Madoff was above reproach, so never did the necessary investigations of his operation until it was far, far, too late. And the story there continues with this new information about how NY Mets owners benefitted handsomely from Madoff, when they previously said they lost money. Yep, the super rich, making our world a better place.
Is right about the interests of big business and small business not being the same.
That is an understatement. It has been that way for years. Today there is an added twist, the giant corporations, most of them being international, have no interest in the welfare of the United States, much less the citizens of the United States. They simply see us as labor, to be hired as cheaply as possible, used up and thrown away. This certainly explains their crusade against Social Security and promotion of 401Ks
“Actually, you should learn to at least dislike them.”
It’s not that I don’t think that they are total scum, it’s just that I’m well aware that there are many thousands just like them who would gladly take their place. What I HATE is the environment that has been created for people like the Koch’s to gain so much political power. I HATE that voters have been ambivalent and uninformed enough to allow it to happen.
I almost took a job with the SEC when I was fresh out of college…….
It’s not just that the SEC thought Madoff was above reproach, it’s also because they are incredibly outgunned when it comes to making cases or uncovering illegal activities. There are so many billions at stake in financials services. The firms, banks, etc. recruit the best of the best. People with advanced degrees in physics, mathematics, finance, accounting, etc…….and all from the best universities. People who shape and change the entire sector. The SEC is in a habitual state of playing catch-up.
The SEC can’t hire the talent they need to really police financial services. They don’t pay enough, and they haven’t created the type of environment to attract the kind of talent required for the job. The SEC is so woefully inadequate to enforce its own rules it’s almost comical.
I agree with your take on the SEC. The problem is that the financial industry wants it that way and has been successful in keeping the regulators (including the boards that oversee and to some extent direct the staffs) of their industry weak and severely outgunned. The point about Madoff was (and I think I even saw an expose’ on this very thing) that because he once held a position of power in the industry as the non0-exec chairman of NASDAQ, he had earned his stripes and knew the rules, was consequently above reproach. It was exactly that perception of trust that led the SEC from not doing its job at arms length (intimidation could have been a part).
And, if I recall correctly, the head of SEC enforcement lost her job (nobody to this point has said she was a scapegoat, just that she was incompetent as were some of her investigators, including a future Madoff son-in-law, employed at the SEC who was part of one investigative team).
The American people had a window to make huge corrections in the financial industry, but we have squandered it. Allowing the House to go back to the R side this last election, has run the risk that even what has been done to reign in the financial industry will get reversed, and we will lose the next round of screw ups, again.
I thought this crap was over with the savings and loan debacle of the 80’s that resulted in a $160B taxpayer bailout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savings_and_loan_crisis
So, in 2007 – to now we experience another debacle caused by the very industry that did the earlier one, and again a taxpayer bail out, with some on Wall St. coming out of it smelling better than when they went in – Goldman Sachs, Chase, and a short list of others, who really are the power brokers in DC.
By the way, Goldman Sachs (from which nearly all Presidential Administrations have drawn their senior financial/treasury policy and regulatory talent) was even implicated in the 1929 Wall St. crash.
Wall St. and Goldman runs America. Until we do something to change the influence of large corporations and their outside advisors , this crap will continue.
When you look at the current state of corporate influence in politics in aggregate, do you ever wonder how the hell we’re ever going to be able to unravel it all?
In my opinion, the reason why financial services reform failed so miserably is because of the fear of socialism. Republicans and corporate interests did an incredible job of scaring people into thinking that strong reforms would have socialist underpinnings since they were coming from Obama. People were apparently more scared of Obama taking over private industry than they were of Wall Street causing another economic catastrophe. It was a despicable strategy and it worked wonderfully.
If so—and I have no reason to believe it isn’t—this is the single most distressing thing in terms of fallout to come from the November 2010 election, the rise of Michelle Bachmann not withstanding…
Of course the Koch brothers will become folk heroes here in Wyoming for their pro-energy anti-enviro anti-climate change activism
I attribute much of this setback to Obama not taking more benign dictatorial control over his own party. Trusting Pelosi and Reid to do it was a mistake. The Dems need some serious leadership , in order to save us all. The Environment will be the first to fall.
“They are businessmen not Jane Goodalls” Yeah- they are idiot sons that inherited their wealth from their right wing John Birch Society father! Your no- nothing party has taken us into uncharted territory with an assault on Science where everything is questioned. Never in this country have we seen anything like this current Roberts court. Nothing is out of bounds, nothing is a conflict of interest, as Ginni Thomas walks around with her liberty hat talking about freedom!
“Your no- nothing party”
LOL. Wow dude. I’m an independent. Fiscal conservative, socially liberal actually (pro choice/don’t give fck about gay marriage), if ya really need to know. Sounds like you are jealous of the Koch’s? Those Rockefella’s really earned there senate seats I’m sure (Mr Jay). Please, you are really biased. Get some other views. I disdain Fox News…Just as much as MSNBC.
I do not like the Koch bro’s either, but think they should be able to spend their money any way they see fit. But whatever, continue on….
“I do not like the Koch bro’s either, but think they should be able to spend their money any way they see fit”
I bet if it was your drinking water contaminated with Benzene you’d think differently- Dude!
Dude! Continue on…
+Perhaps if people put down there Iphones, turned off “American Idol” and “Dancing w/ the Stars”, we wouldn’t needd to rely on the “billionaires” to decide on economic, environmental and any other policy they see fit to influence+
Wolf Moderate – I’d be willing to bet that many of the people who weigh in on this site, don’t have I Phones and don’t wait with baited breath to see who’s gonna win American Idol or Dancing with the Stars but are, more often than not, lumped into catagories like liberals, animal rights activists and enviros because its hard to relate to the fascination.
I live in an area where the very rich and the “anything but” rich, gather and rub elbows often at local establishments and the interesting thing is, the rich seem to like things just the way there are (other than bitching about those damn liberals always trying to mess things up) and the “anything but” rich who are afraid government is gonna take away even more of their rights AND their guns. Go figure…………
“I’d be willing to bet that many of the people who weigh in on this site, don’t have I Phones and don’t wait with baited breath to see who’s gonna win American Idol or Dancing with the Stars but are, more often than not, lumped into catagories like liberals, animal rights activists and enviros because its hard to relate to the fascination. ”
I was replying to Ralph as to why billionaire’s are getting away w/ influencing politics as much as they do. The reason they get away w/ it (IMHO) is because the “average” American is watching “American Idol”, Dancing w/ the Stars, and texting or whatever on there phones. I stand by that statement, though I was not speaking of the people on this site. It’s obvious (by the amount of time that they are on here, if for no other reason) that people on this blog aren’t “average” Americans. I was speaking of the typical american in general, not of ppl on this site.
Do Not mess w/ my guns! 😉
One more thing. I should conduct a study on the number of vehicles that use hwy 12 on any given day and what percent that drive that road is driving a rig that gets less than say 20 MPG. It’s quite high I’m positive. It’s ironic that people complain about gas prices, global warming, and obscene oil company profits, yet the demand for oil doesn’t go down at all. It is weird.
Looks like the Koch’s and others like him will continue to make billions and have even a larger impact on politics globally, not just in the US. Like I said before, the average american doesn’t care so long as they can watch TV, yack on there hand held cancer machine, and eat fastfood by the truckload. That’s all.
No biggie to me, people are free to do what they want I guess. They (the american voter) support this vicious circle.
So sorry Wolf Moderate, guessing it was this statement in your comment that got a rise out of me:
+Dunno, just seems that we aren’t in a democracy due to laziness on the citizens behalf+
No worries. Poorly worded sentence. Average citizen I meant. Not super human wolf advocates 🙂
+No worries. Poorly worded sentence. Average citizen I meant. Not super human wolf advocates+
Care to expound on that comment Wolf M?
Please… like a case of bad stomach gas, let it pass!
“Please… like a case of bad stomach gas, let it pass!”
Yes, like everything you either do not understand or agree with, let it pass! That’s funny, that’s exactly what I was thinking when it comes to your posts. Not as beautifully put however.
“+Dunno, just seems that we aren’t in a democracy due to laziness on the citizens behalf+”
The above sentence was poorly worded. Was directed towards average americans, you know, the ones that watch TV all day and night.
“+No worries. Poorly worded sentence. Average citizen I meant. Not super human wolf advocates+”
The above sentence was in regards to the top sentence. It states that I was referring to “average” american and not the super human wolf advocates like the ones on this site. It was a bit of a complement and a bit of a joke all rolled into one.
Anyone that works towards things they are passionate about are OK in my book. Including the extreme environmentalists. Good luck to you all.
Just for reference…
All That We Share
Welcome to a new kind of movement—one that reshapes how we think about ownership and cooperation.
You’re welcome. I like that this idea is gaining ground.
Thanks. The idea of protecting the commons from destruction is common behind all conservation measures, and the radical right’s assault can be seen a primarily an assault on the commons.
Americans’ lack of independent thought and increasing susceptibility to “brands” and the pre-packaged ideology associated with such brands is disconcerting. The Fox News/Conservative Talk brand has been the most successful lately by far. It took a major hit a couple of years ago when the whole movement way over-played its cards and a major section of the public gagged and puked from K street exclusion and criminal greed, combined with middle-east war concerns and the financial collapse, but just like sheep they’ve come flocking back to the brand, which has become even stronger. I don’t have TV but usually watch Fox for awhile whenever in a hotel, just to try to better understand where my fellow citizens are coming from. I just laid down “Lords of Finance” by Liaquat Ahamed, a recent history of world economics from before WWI to WWII. I wish more people could develop their views from books like that instead of talking heads who work for billionaires. He includes one of many priceless quotes from Will Rogers during the Great Depression that seems particularly applicable to the current unshakable affinity by many for the right brand: “If stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?”.
The problem is clear but do you blame an ignorant public or the whole movement (involving now even the Supreme Court) and its use of the media that is making it ever easier for money and power to play us? It seems like it’s a problem on all levels but, being a democracy, a solution has to come mainly from below because that is still theoretically how our government works.
The problem with “we the little people” (as a former speaker of the House Denny Hastert put it), is that a vast majority have bought into the misinformation because they would rather be distracted by all the new tech-toys and entertainment for the sake of having a fun life are yet to feel the bite. If they are feeling it now, they need to get off their butts and above all pay attention to what is going on. Unfortunately, Americans are so sedated by these distractions, and many admit that they can’t be bothered with politics, that they have unwittingly signed their own death warrants. Fad drives the American public these days so unless being a reformer becomes “sexy” in the very near future, most of them will have missed the boat when it leaves for safe haven.
This country is nearing its absolute demise and here we are sitting around wondering how to get the next new toy, well most Americans seem to be. I think that we need to do something drastic to change this situation, not sure what that is or would be but something has to happen soon. Nothing is every going to be like it was in those imaginary “good ol’ days” so folks who cling to that ideology will have to get over it or fall behind/ perish/suffer whatever the ultimate consequence turns out to be.
I say, stop feeding the monsters.
Reaganomics Sucked Wealth up, Did Not Trickle it Down
ThinkProgress had an interesting piece on Reagan this week- “Ten things conservatives don’t want you to know about Ronald Reagan”.
Billionaires doing good things for our lands? That’s few and way far between. It’s sad too because they buy up large tracks of land and could do good things with them.
Billionaires appealing to their guilt – Bill Gates foundation, PATH world health charity (funded by billionaires) are spending lots of money to add to global population by focusing on improving survival of births in Africa, through such things as sanitary birthing kits and education. Their logic – the new babies will one day become consumers of their products (Insert sarcastic smiley face here).
And the good news just keeps on coming…
Kochs brothers’ plan for 2012: raise $88 million
and all us field hands jus need to be happy
Another plan of Governor Walker is to sell off any powerplants the state might own, and not to the highest bidder.
The likely buyers are the Koch Brothers.
The other part of the Scott Walker plan: Firesale of Wisconsin state assets
Walker proposes selling state-owned power plants. By Thomas Content of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
why does Vlad Dracula keep coming to mind, when I think of these parasites.