Through their investments and various subsidiaries, Charles and David Koch could make a fortune from the transcontinental oil pipeline, contrary to previous Koch claims.

The Koch brothers have become well known (and despised by many progressives) for their right-wing political activism. The Huffington Post reports that a progressive think tank, the International Forum on Globalization, has been studying Koch investments and properties, including 2 million acres of land in Alberta, Canada. The IFG also estimates that the Kochs have spent about $50 million lobbying pro-Keystone think tanks and members of Congress.

The Keystone pipeline is supposed to bring synthetic crude oil from Canada all the way down to the Gulf Coast of the United States, where it would be refined. It has become something of a unifying cause for the environmental movement, which sees continued investment in fossil fuels as a calamitous proposition when we are already suffering the effects of climate change. And of course there’s no way to build a toxic tube across the continent without affecting the environment.

Activists succeeded in getting the Obama administration to delay a Keystone decision, but many rich and influential people, beyond the Koch brothers, stand to benefit from the pipeline’s construction and it will take a huge effort from environmentalists to counter their sway in Washington.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

Correction: A previous version of this post had an error in the headline. It said $100 million when it should have said billion.


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