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General News    H2'ed 8/25/11

Do the Koch Brothers Want A Toxic Disaster?

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Message Robert Greenwald

Koch Industries and its army of subsidiary corporations operate 57 chemical facilities in the U.S. and have fought in and out of Congress to avoid a comprehensive safety solution that would mitigate fallout from any natural and man-made disasters, according to a new investigation from Greenpeace.

Even though the Koch brothers' businesses put 4.4 million people at risk with pollutants, the Kochs have poured millions into lobbyists' coffers and political contributions to ensure their bottom line stays unchanged by the most basic safety precaution.

The latest chapter of the Koch brothers disdain for public service and safety confirms much of what we've learned through our Koch Brothers Exposed campaign, which has linked the billionaire right wing brothers to disastrous oil spills, devastating land grabs and attacks on Social Security and public education.

The Kochs' disregard for chemical safety policy, and their tactics they employ to duck responsibility and fund policy beneficial to their businesses and their bottom line is a well-oiled machine they've deployed elsewhere in scores of public policy debates.

But their assault against potential safety legislation is heightened because the brothers are directly pouring money into Congress. Politicians of both parties on key committees in both chambers of Congress with control over safety legislation have been on the receiving end of KochPAC donations. When the Koch brothers can pollute at will and disregard the safety of so many non-billionaires, one has to inform others and take action to stop the sale of our democracy.

That's exactly what we're doing. I invite you to join the investigation at our Koch Brothers Exposed page on Facebook, where we're educating folks about the brothers' vast influence on our democracy.

The Greenpeace report is a terrific primer. In light of the brothers' refusal to protect its chemical facilities, the report's discovery of a Koch subsidiary's water, air, hazardous waste, pesticide, emergency planning and preparedness violations--680 in all--is beyond belief. But that's the Koch way. (The brothers' subsidiary Invista, was ordered to pay $1.7 million for these 680 violations.)

The Koch record is further impugned with their position favoring formaldehyde. The brothers use the carcinogen to make fibers and certain materials. Formaldehyde exposure leads to cancer, and just like the brothers' position against Social Security or safety regulations, the Koch brothers fought (and lost) the battle to rightfully classify formaldehyde as a cancer causing chemical. If and when a fact like that causes the Kochs to lose a few dollars, we've seen them do everything they can to discredit and rewrite history and the public record.

The Koch brothers have billions at their disposal, but by educating others and taking action we can stop the sale of our government. Democracy is not a spectator sport so be part of our movement at our Koch Brothers Exposed page on Facebook.

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Robert Greenwald is a producer, director and political activist; the founder and president of Brave New Films, a new media company that uses moving images to educate, influence, and empower viewers to take action around issues that matter. Under (more...)
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