Oil Slick

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Oil Slick

How to choke off clean air with independent expenditures.

by Romesh Ratnesar and John Cook

#10 David H. Koch, 56, Wichita, Kan. Party: R and Libertarian. $339,000 total contributions.

View Koch’s itemized contributions.

When the Environmental Protection Agency announced last November it would update Clean Air Act standards to ban dust particle emissions that reportedly cause 40,000 premature deaths annually, big industries sharpened their knives. (Final EPA regulations are due by July.) Oil companies, automakers, and the nation’s largest manufacturers claim it will cost them billions to comply. Among them is David Koch, chairman of Koch Industries, whose oil subsidiary is being sued by the government for Clean Water Act violations, for a reported $55 million. Although Koch gave $339,000 to federal campaigns in 1995-96, it’s only one way he sought influence. He also gives through a tangled web of think tanks, PR agencies, and trade associations, all of which want Congress to gut the Clean Air Act.

View the Map of Koch’s Influence (Warning: This is a 234K file)

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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