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Double Trouble

Beware the Power of the Koch Bros.

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch have moved to the center of the Republican establishment, donating to and guiding members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Koch Industries was the largest oil and gas donor to members of the committee—larger even than Exxon Mobil. Then the Koch brothers got the panel’s commitment in writing, with nine of the 12 new Republican members signing a pledge to oppose the Obama administration’s attempts to regulate greenhouse gases. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) launched an aerospace company with investments from a Koch subsidiary, and his chief of staff is a former Koch Industries lawyer. Jeremy Symons of the National Wildlife Federation says the change on the committee is “like night and day.” "Now the committee treats the Clean Air Act and the EPA as if they are the enemy,” he says. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) says it’s just the reversal of when Former Chairman Henry Waxman “stacked the committee with liberal environmentalists.”

February 6, 2011 2:55 AM