Polluters Fund Front Groups to Kill Renewable Projects

  • Posted on: 6 January 2010
  • By: admin

As Kate Sheppard over at Mother Jones blogs here, there has been a concerted campaign by polluting industry interests over the years to kill renewable energy projects in the crib.

The prime example of this corrupt practice is in Nantucket Sound, where Cape Wind, the proposed offshore wind farm, has been derailed yet again. Interestingly, as with an alarming number of polluter-backed propaganda campaigns, the money trail funding the opposition to Cape Wind leads back to the leading name in right-wing financial backing: Koch .

The "Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound," which lists itself as a "nonprofit environmental organization," is actually a front group funded by William Koch, one of four sons of Fred Koch, the founder of Koch Industries which is one of the largest privately-owned companies in the world and one of the most notorious polluters in the world. In 2000, Koch Industries was forced to pay the "largest civil fine ever imposed on a company under any federal environmental law to resolve claims related to more than 300 oil spills from its pipelines and oil facilities in six states." Following the death of his father, William sold his shares of Koch Industries to his brothers Charles and David, who have gone on to become the leading backers of right-wing polluter propaganda operations like "FreedomWorks" and "Americans for Prosperity."

Not to be outdone, William Koch dumped $1.5 million into the Alliance and other efforts to defeat the Cape Wind project and at the moment his investment seems to have paid off. Even though Washington elites like the Koch brothers and their allies in the Chamber Against Progress say they want "free enterprise" and less interference from government for businesses, they have spent millions persuading government agencies to shut down renewable energy projects. Hypocrisy, oh, of course not.