Climate Denial Billionaires Bankroll Efforts to Stop Progress in California

It’s no secret that global warming deniers rely on Big Oil’s deep pockets to fund their work, but few are as brazen as the billionaire Koch brothers.

Charles and David Koch, owners of Koch Industries, is the second largest private company in the U.S., with estimated 2008 revenues of $100 billion. Started as a petroleum business by their father Fred Koch, Koch Industries has become a diversified enterprise that funds large-scale lobbying and a range of activist groups that play a significant role in the global warming denial machine.

Greenpeace most wantedWhile David Koch is a frequent funder of PBS programming, Washingtonians and tourists can watch his handiwork on display in a bizarre exhibit at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum that attempts to claim climate change has helped humanity thrive. The exhibit conveniently leaves out the role of his industry in causing global warming, and the negative toll rapid climate change is expected to have on humans and the planet.

Our own NWF Climate Capsule will pay a visit to Koch’s federally backed fairyland in next week’s episode.

Now in recent days, Los Angeles Times broke the story that the Koch’s have jumped on board an effort to suspend California’s global warming law.

The purported multimillion dollar handout would fund Proposition 23, which tries to suspend California’s 2006 law and essentially short circuit clean energy development.

AB 32, California’s 2006 climate change law, would slash the state’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases down to 1990 levels by 2020 — a cut amounting to about 15% below today’s levels. The law, which would curb emissions from industry and transportation, is strongly backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and environmental groups.

(PHOTO – “Most Wanted” image by Greenpeace.)