by Samantha Englert
Fuel industry sources have recently revealed that billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch of Texas are planning to funnel over ten million dollars a year to a new advocacy group whose mission will be to increase the usage of petroleum-based transportation fuel. Why would individuals wish to promote ‘unclean’ energy and global warming? Faced with the threat of competition and lost sales from plug-in automobiles, the Koch brothers, who own the second largest privately held fossil-fuel corporation with an annual income of over 100 billion dollars, have been reported to want the US government to discontinue electric car subsidies.
Since 2010, US government subsidies and tax breaks have significantly increased for electric car sales, which are projected to gain approximately 5% of the US car market by 2025. Threatened by these statistics, oil and gas industry giants, such as the Koch brothers, are starting to wage an offense against plug-in cars in attempts to maintain their share of the automobile market. Koch Industries already has a history of donating millions to nonprofit groups to fight tax breaks for alternative energy companies and projects, and of asserting that fossil fuels have ‘no’ effect on global warming, in contrast to climate change research results. The Koch brothers, in collaboration with a Washington energy lobbyist, have also held closed discussions late last year with other Texas fuel moguls, including Valero Energy and Tesoro Corporation, and provided a California retreat on “Changing the Energy Narrative” for potential donors.
According to one anonymous source, the Koch contingency is preparing to launch an advocacy group later this year with a strong pro-fossil fuel agenda. Once publicly established, this group plans to raise a paid media awareness campaign to encourage the usage of pro-petroleum transportation.
Stone, Peter. 2016. The Kochs Are Plotting A Multimillion-Dollar Assault On Electric Vehicles. Huffington Post. Feb 19, 2016. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kochelectricvehicles_us_56c4d63ce4b0b40245c8cbf6]