The Kochs & the XL Pipeline: "I want my fair share, and that's ALL OF IT."
By Greg Palast / gregpalast.com

According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old.  Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars’ worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.

Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home?  Koch answered:

“I want my fair share – and that’s all of it.”

Now “all of it” includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world’s filthiest oil, crude made from tar sands, down from Canada to his family’s refinery on the Gulf Coast of Texas.


This is Part 2 of “The Koch Brothers, Hugo Chavez and the XL Pipeline.”  Part 1 explains that the Koch Oil refinery can only “crack” heavy crude from Venezuela—which costs $33 a barrel more than tar sands heavy oil.  But Canada’s cheap crude cannot get to Texas without a new, giant pipe.  XL would save the Kochs nearly $3 billion a year.


Problem:  the Keystone XL tar-oil tube would endanger the largest US water sources, vastly increase pollution in the USA and measurably heat the planet.

Solution:  Congressman Tim Griffin. 

Congressman Griffin is sponsoring the bill to force the Obama Administration to approve the XL Pipeline without the environmental review now required by law.

What’s odd is that Griffin represents Arkansas, a state with no stake in the Pipeline. 

But the Kochs have a stake in Griffin.  In his maiden run for Congress, Griffin was elected with an eye-popping $167,000 donation from the Kochs.  For $167,000, any congressman will wash your car – with their tongue.

For the Kochs, $167K is peanuts.  Their political action operation, Americans for Prosperity, built a quarter billion dollar fund this past year, a sum never seen even in the US politics cash swamp. 

Global Warming Denial as a Profit Center
To answer the concerns about global warming raised by the XL and the Kochs’ oil business, the billionaire brothers have bankrolled a gold-plated campaign of global warming denial.

For example, Americans for Prosperity funded “Hot Air Tour” rallies across the US with the slogan, “Global Warming Alarmism:  Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes and Less Freedom.”  More rallies were held by the Koch-funded FreedomWorks, a foundation which has seized control of the Tea Party movement—and redirected populist rage against plutocrats. FreedomWorks transformed the Tea Party into a used tea bag, dangling from the Kochs' string.

Break the Law then Re-make the Law
States on the pipeline’s route could block the Keystone XL, but the crucial extension will originate in Oklahoma where the Kochs have cowed all resistance to their needs. 

The Kochs’ power to terrorize politicians in Oklahoma and the West originates in that case of Osage tribe’s missing oil. 

FBI agents filmed Koch Oil men pilfering the crude, had witnesses to Koch’s directives to siphon the oil, and more. The US Justice Department drafted a criminal indictment of Koch Industries and Defendant “67C” (reportedly Charles Koch himself) for “Crime on an Indian Reservation” and racketeering, big-time jail-time offenses.

That’s when Koch Oil drilled down and struck Bob Dole, the nation’s most powerful Senator, the Republican Majority Leader. 

Dole (representing Kansas), joined by a Koch-funded Senator from Oklahoma, Don Nickles, had the federal prosecutor who brought the case fired.  Case closed except for a few million paid to the Osage for some of their stolen oil.

Dole ran for President using Koch money given to Dole’s not-for-profit foundation.  It was a cheap buy for the Kochs because it was illegal – so Dole, when caught, had to give it back.

But one Senator wouldn’t let the oil theft go: Dennis DeConcini, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Investigations whose report concluded, “Koch Oil is the most dramatic example of an oil company stealing by deliberate mismeasurement and fraudulent reporting.”

The Kochs didn’t like that.  And when the Kochs don’t like something, or someone, it’s notably more serious than a ‘thumbs down’ on your Facebook page. In 1996 (yes, I’ve been investigating the Kochs for that long), DeConcini told me the Kochs warned him that if he published and stood by the Senate’s and the FBI’s findings, the Kochs would destroy the Senator’s political career.  They did.

Then there was the matter of the 97-count criminal indictment of Koch Oil for dumping poisonous crude sludge into rivers in six states.  The Kochs didn’t merely want to beat the rap—they wanted to continue dumping.

That would require buying a whole new Congress.  No problemo, Pardner.  In 1996, Koch Industries, through a fake front called Coalition for our Children’s Future, secretly funded millions of dollars in vicious attack ads against vulnerable Democrats just days before the election.

As a result, Republican Newt Gingrich kept his post as Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Gingrich pushed an agenda he called "The Contract with America", which would eliminate criminal sanctions for pollution and slash rules against polluting.  The Center for Public Integrity said it “seems to have been drafted and designed for Koch interests.”

Wrong.  The Contract was drafted by the Kochs and crafted at the Heritage Foundation, a think-tank the Kochs founded.

Bill Clinton’s Administration, though nominally Democratic, went easy on Koch interests. Vice-President Al Gore especially, head of the Reinventing Government Commission, attacked regulations with more verve than Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher.  Gore’s anti-regulation guidebook was the “Mandate for Change” drafted by the Democratic Leadership Council.  It was the DLC that had launched the career of the previously unknown Bill Clinton, its first chair, and Al Gore’s career as well. The DLC was created with $100,000 of Koch money.

The Kochs use of fronts for corporate donations to politicians was plain illegal—until, in 2010, the US Supreme Court decriminalized this game in the Citizens United case.  The lawyer for Citizens United is Ted Olson, whose day job is representing Koch Industries. 

Note:  The Kochs are bi-partisan employers.  They also retain lawyer Bob Strauss, former Chairman of the Democratic Party.

The Themis Machine
As if their billions, their think tanks, lawyers, fronts and political action fund were not enough to scare the bejeezus out of politicians, there is Themis.  Themis, created by the Kochs, is the nation’s most sophisticated, detailed database on every American living, surpassing the most demonic dreams of the FBI. 

Themis, for example, knows the last time you, Jack, downloaded porn. 

Given their power and their Themis, is it really possible for a few greenies and some fact-afflicted scientists to stop the Kochs from jamming their pipeline right up our aquifers?

Absolutely.  Indeed, that’s the only way it will be stopped, because the Kochs have already put the politicians in their pipe and smoked them.

 

Get the real skinny on the Brothers Koch in “Petroleum Porn: the XXXL Pipeline,” in the New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:  Greg Palast investigates Karl Rove, the Koch Gang and their Buck Buddies. 

Palast is also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures' Picnic, named Book of the Year 2012 on BBC Newsnight Review.

Visit the Palast Investigative Fund's store or simply make a contribution to keep our work alive!

 

3.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 16,234 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Protests Intensify, Spread Across France as Workers Refuse Submission
Andrea Germanos · 12,970 views today · 'What we want today is for this movement to spread,' says unionist.
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 8,299 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
Permaculture Has Some Incredible Solutions For Transforming Suburbia Into Resilient Communities
Chip Richards · 7,516 views today · Rather than waiting for society to all agree how we need to live in a different way, by focusing here in the suburban household, people can actually get on with making...
Changing Everything Except What Needs Changing: What's Missing From The Renewable Energy Debate
Steven Gorelick · 5,961 views today · Among climate change activists, solutions usually center on a transition to renewable energy. There may be differences over whether this would be best accomplished by a carbon...
Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed
Gustavo Tanaka · 5,050 views today · Most of us haven't quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that...
The System Is Failing. We All Know It. It's Time to Start Talking about What's Next
4 min · 4,299 views today · Growing inequality, political stalemate, and climate disruption prompt an important insight. When the old ways no longer produce the outcomes we are looking for, something...
6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal
Mark Manson · 4,173 views today · There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe read a few...
Who Is Creating the Future Nobody Wants?
Joe Brewer · 3,773 views today · Here’s an amazing fact: It’s 2016 and humanity is collectively moving toward a future that nobody wants. We are literally going somewhere that will hurt every single one of...
Ikigai - Finding Your Reason for Being
Chip Richards · 3,634 views today · What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning? When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical...
Why Spirituality Is the Key to a More Visionary Politics
Ronan Harrington · 3,185 views today · Progressive renewal lies in a deep recognition that we are not choosing our current lives.
The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet Is Now Carbon Negative
Carolanne Wright · 3,004 views today · Lodged between two of the most populated countries on earth — India and China — Bhutan may be small at 700,000 souls, but it has a mighty role to play in showing the world how...
The Most Radical Experiment in Direct Democracy and Gender Equality can be Found in the Middle East
Rahila Gupta · 2,684 views today · Rahila Gupta meets the women fighters who are helping to stop the advance of ISIS while also leading a radical democratic charge against capitalist ideology. Welcome to the...
A 10-Point Programme for 21st Century Democratic Socialism
Jeremy Gilbert · 2,663 views today · In response to Jeremy Corbyn's  'Standing to Deliver' plan "for a fairer and more successful Britain," Jeremy Gilbert suggests an additional 10 things to plug some of the holes...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 2,351 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Face It: Our Democracy Is a Sham. We Don't Have a Real Say in Most Decisions That Affect Our Lives
CELDF · 2,102 views today · Are we able to stop fracking and other threats to the environment from coming into our communities?  Are we able to protect local farming from sewage sludge or factory...
A World War Has Begun - Break The Silence
John Pilger · 1,929 views today · I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is...
A Simple 6 Step Self Compassion Exercise to Combat Depression and Low Self Esteem
5 min · 1,883 views today · It’s all too easy to be extremely tough on ourselves; we need – at points – to get better at self-compassion. Here is an exercise in how to lessen the voices of self-flagellation.
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 1,717 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Comic: If Bart Simpson and Chris Griffin Went to Couples Therapy
Panic Volkushka · 1,609 views today · "My dad was an abusive alcoholic, or whatever. He'd go to the bar, come home drunk, find out I'd f-cked up at school, and he'd choke me out."
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The Kochs & the XL Pipeline: "I want my fair share, and that's ALL OF IT."