There are over 2,600 people living within three miles of Oxbow
Corporation’s industrial plant in Port Arthur, Texas, a community that’s
almost entirely people of color. And for 85 years, the Oxbow
Calcining’s 112-acre plant has been processing
oil and gas products into “petroleum coke,” which is commonly used to
make steel and aluminum — all the while releasing sulfur dioxide into
the air of Port Arthur. From 2016 to 2019, the plant pumped an average
of over 22 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, which can cause lung
disease, coughing, and eye irritation, into the air each year.
Oxbow’s founder and CEO is billionaire William “Bill” Koch, a member
of the Koch family who has historically maintained a lower profile than
his politically active brothers Charles and David, who passed away in 2019. Charles and David notoriously poured fortunes
into funding organizations and projects designed to prevent fossil fuel
regulation, often by obscuring the role that fossil fuels play in
causing climate change. The Koch Family Foundations, which are linked primarily to Charles and David, have spent more than ExxonMobil in that effort, DeSmog’s database shows.
Continue reading “Fossil Fuel Plant Run by William Koch at Heart of EPA Investigation into Racism in Texas’s Environmental Oversight”
During a virtual event on Wednesday, December 9 hosted by the Heritage Foundation — a conservative free market think tank backed by polluters like the petrochemical Koch empire — the outgoing head of the Environmental Protection Agency (and former coal lobbyist) Andrew Wheeler announced the finalization of a new rule that critics say is a gift to polluting industries opposed to federal regulations.
The rule is specifically about an accounting process used in rulemaking called a cost-benefit analysis. According to EPA’s announcement, the rule is supposed to increase consistency and transparency when EPA develops regulations under the Clean Air Act. But leading environmental organizations and a former EPA official say the new rule is redundant and dangerous, as it would allow polluters to tie up any new EPA regulations in legal challenges based on claiming the cost-benefit analysis for a given regulation is inadequate.
Continue reading “EPA Admin Announces New Rule to “Reward Polluters” at Heritage Foundation Event”
A new paper published Tuesday, November 17, by the conservative think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI),
raises environmental concerns with electric vehicles in what appears to
be the latest attempt by organizations associated with fossil fuel
funding to pump the brakes on the transportation sector’s transition
away from petroleum and towards cleaner electricity.
In the U.S., the transportation sector is the largest contributor
to planet-warming emissions. Climate and energy policy experts say
electrifying vehicles is necessary to mitigate these emissions.
In fact, scientists recently warned
that if the country has any hope of reaching the Paris climate targets
of limiting warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit),
90 percent of all light-duty cars on the road must be electric by 2050.
But the Competitive Enterprise Institute — a longtime disseminator of
disinformation on climate science and supported by petroleum funding
sources including the oil giant ExxonMobil and petrochemical billionaire
Koch foundations — dismisses this imperative and instead tries to portray electrified transport as environmentally problematic in a paper titled, “Would More Electric Vehicles Be Good for the Environment?”
Continue reading “Koch-Connected Climate Deniers Are Claiming EVs Are Bad for the Environment — Again. Here’s Why They’re Wrong.”
Two Trump Energy Department appointees with deep ties to Koch Industries and the Koch donor network have been burying reams of agency research that looks favorably on renewable energy, according to an in-depth investigation by Grist and InvestigateWest. Published
October 26, the investigation reveals how the appointed high-ranking
officials mandated political review of research, watered down reports,
and slow-walked or shelved scientific findings and studies when they
favored renewable deployment over continued reliance on fossil fuels.
Continue reading “The Koch Operatives Behind the Trump Energy Department’s Renewables Research Censorship”