An extensive new research report explains how the Koch brothers' business operation and their political operation are actually mutually reinforcing sides of one single operation. The report, by the International Forum on Globalization, an anti-globalization think tank, finds:
Page 2: The Kochs own 2 million acres in Alberta's tar sands land (in addition to their 25% ownership of the XL if it gets built) and would therefore increase their net worth by around $100 billion if the XL gets built (which would make the world's dirtiest oil cost-competitive to sell).
Page 3: The carbon content that would be released into the atmosphere from burning Alberta's tar sands oil would be 33.07 billion metric tons, of which 19.14 billion (58%) would be Koch Industries tar sands. The remaining 10.52 billion would be ConocoPhillips, 2.6 billion would be ExxonMobil, and .8 billion would be Chevron.
Page 7: Whereas the two Koch brothers own 2,000,000 acres of those tar sands, ConocoPhillips Corporation owns 1,100,000 acres, ExxonMobil Corporation owns 272,188 acres, and Chevron Corporation owns 84,136 acres.
Page 11: The Koch brothers also own the two refineries in Corpus Christi Texas that would be processing the tar sands for shipment to Latin America, Europe, and China.
Page 13: "The Kochs' combined net worth quintupled from $10B in 2005 to 50B in 2011, according to IFG analysis based on figures from Forbes. Since then, it has continued to skyrocket, driven in great part by unregulated trading of oil derivatives that leverages their extensive ownership of energy infrastructure and insiders' knowledge of market-moving information."
Page 24: The Kochs have spent at least $53 million on 37 organizations, such as Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, FreedomWorks, Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, and the Council for National Policy, that have endorsed the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
Page 25: "The fact that the Kochs were considering buying into the news business, by purchasing the Tribune Company, speaks volumes about their ambition to disseminate their views" as news.
Page 26: "Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas in particular are especially close with the Kochs."
Page 27: The Kochs and their foundations have donated more than a million dollars to the election of the 48 U.S. Senators who signed the Pro-KXL Resolution. All but 4 of them also signed a letter to President Obama to approve the project.
Page 28: "The Kochs have literally bought a say in the hiring and firing of faculty across American academia."
To this, I shall merely add my own conclusion: that Charles Koch, the brains behind the operation, is a brilliant businessperson, who would make proud his father, Fred Koch, who provided Stalin vital assistance in building the Soviet petroleum infrastructure and then went on to co-found the rabidly anti-communist John Birch Society. Charles really is a chip off the old block.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.