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For Immediate Release

Contact

Joe Smyth, Greenpeace Media in Washington DC, 831-566-5647 joe.smyth@greenpeace.org
Jenny Binstock, Greenpeace Southern California organizer, in Rancho Mirage, CA 216-470-7838

Press Release

Greenpeace Airship Sends Message to Secretive oil Billionaires’ Strategy Meeting: “Koch Brothers: Dirty Money”

Tax records show Koch Foundations continued funding climate denial organizations, $54.9 million since 1997 and $31.3 million since 2005
Rancho Mirage, CA -

Greenpeace today flew an airship with a banner
reading “Koch Brothers: Dirty Money” over Rancho Mirage, California as
oil billionaires David and Charles Koch convened their latest secret
political strategy meeting. The aerial message to arriving attendees of
the meeting highlighted the Koch Brothers’ ongoing use of their vast oil
profits to push a polluter agenda through campaign contributions,
lobbying, and funding fronts groups and think tanks.

On Sunday, hundreds of people from a diverse coalition of labor,
environmental, consumer, and other groups will protest the Koch
Brothers’ strategy meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas resort in Rancho
Mirage.

“David and Charles Koch used their dirty money to block
progress on clean energy and climate change policies, and now they’re
scheming to roll back the Clean Air Act and other critical health and
environmental protections with their partners in Congress,” said Kert
Davies, Research Director for Greenpeace USA. “Their agenda of
increased polluter profits at the expense of people, our health, and
environment must be exposed and stopped.”

Tax records obtained
by Greenpeace show that Koch foundations continued funneling money to
front groups and think tanks that spread inaccurate and misleading
information about climate science and clean energy policies. The tax
records from David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, Charles G. Koch
Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation
show:

  • In 2009, the latest year for which data is now available, the Koch
    foundations continued the pace of recent funding, providing over $6.4
    million dollars to a familiar array of conservative organizations that
    engage in global warming denial.
  • The new total funding to these climate denial organizations is $54.9 million since 1997 and $31.3 million since 2005
  • Top recipients in 2009 included The Institute for Humane Studies,
    the Mercatus Center, Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation
    and the Cato Institute.  Americans for Prosperity has now received over
    $5.6 million in documented donations from the Koch foundations.

The newly available tax records update findings from Greenpeace’s
March 2010 report, Koch Industries, Secretly Funding the Climate Denial
Machine, released to expose the company's role in funding climate
denial organizations, lobbying and political contributions to block
progress on climate and clean energy policies. The report is available
at http://www.greenpeace.org/kochindustries

The New Yorker magazine published an investigation of the Koch Brothers
in August 2010, revealing the oil billionaires’ central role in
funding and establishing astroturf organizations and think tanks that
push a corporate agenda.  Now, a growing awareness of these oil
billionaire’s destructive agenda has lead to increased scrutiny and
resistance from organizations and people all over the United States.

###

Photos available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceusa09/sets/72157625798953453/

###

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Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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