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Koch Brothers Plan $300 Million Spending Spree In 2014

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The billionaire Koch brothers and their political network are planning to spend almost $300 million during the 2014 election cycle, some of which will go toward a renewed effort to combat unprecedented carbon regulations unveiled by the Obama administration last month.

According to The Daily Beast, industrialists Charles and David Koch will advance a new energy initiative this weekend at a California resort featuring Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and libertarian political scientist Charles Murray. While its scope isn't clear yet, the group will be spearheaded by the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a 200-member organization that has funneled millions of dollars to various nonprofits in the Koch network.

The new push comes in the wake of proposed EPA regulations that would cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent. It also follows a February announcement from billionaire liberal investor Tom Steyer, a major advocate against the Keystone XL pipeline, that he will be undertaking his own $100 million initiative to make climate change a key issue in 2014.

Americans for Prosperity, the main political arm of the Kochs, is already planning a $125 million spending spree on other political projects across the country, according to Politico.

Politically oriented nonprofits aren't the only beneficiaries of Koch money. The United Negro College Fund, which supports historically black colleges and universities, announced a $25 million grant last month from Koch Industries, Inc.

The billionaire brothers are also a frequent topic of conversation in the Senate, where Democrats are calling for a constitutional amendment to restore Congress' power to regulate campaign finance after the Supreme Court struck down several fundraising restrictions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) clashed on the matter during a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

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