By Joe Romm
Billionaire energy investor T. Boone Pickens has a bone to pick with the country’s leading pollutocrats.
Pickens said in an interview Wednesday with Yahoo’s Daily Ticker that Koch Industries, the company owned by Charles and David Koch, is the major stumbling block to a coherent U.S. energy policy:
“The biggest deterrent to an energy plan in America is Koch Industries,” the BP Capital founder tells Yahoo’s Aaron Task. “They do not want an energy plan for America because they have the cheapest natural gas price they’ve ever had, and they’re in the fertilizer business and they’re in the chemical business. So their margins are huge. And they do not want you to have an energy plan, because if you had a plan, then natural gas prices would come up.”Back in October, a German state minister explained that the country could decarbonize with renewables because “We Don’t Have the … Koch Brothers.” He was referring to the Kochs’ lobbying for dirty fuels and against clean energy, and its spending on climate science disinformation, which exceeds that of ExxonMobil. As Business Insider explains:
The second-largest private company in the United States, Koch Industries has spent at least $5 million in lobbying in each of the past four years, and given at least $1,000,000 in seven of the last eight election cycles, according to data from OpenSecrets.Pickens was referring to the Koch brothers’ Americans For Prosperity front group, which has been bashing Pickens’ beloved NAT GAS Act (HR 1380) to promote natural-gas vehicles (NGVs). Since the AFP campaign began, 14 House Republicans have withdrawn support for the legislation. Of course, we now know that NGVs are bad for the climate (see “Natural Gas Is A Bridge To Nowhere Absent A Carbon Price AND Strong Standards To Reduce Methane Leakage“). As EDF chief Fred Krupp put it, “I’m here to tell you today that every truck we switch to natural gas damages the atmosphere.”
In 2008, the company spent nearly $18 million on lobbying for oil and gas interests alone, according to Open Secrets. They’ve already spent $2.3 million on oil and gas lobbying in 2012.
Still, who can argue with Pickens’ central point? The men from Koch — and the groups, politicians, and disinformation they fund — are now the Sith Lords of climate and clean energy inaction in the country.