Self-styled kings, their Royal Majesties Charles and David Koch, are now seeking to expand their empire abroad. After succeeding in the US at buying democracy, controlling education, stealing resources, dismantling environmental protections, and blocking attempts to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, they have now embarked on their conquest of Europe.
So far, what they’ve spent on lobbying E.U. Governments is chump change compared to the billion dollars they’ve planned to “invest” in the current U.S. elections. According to the E.U. Transparency Register, that figure for 2014 is just over $335,000 USD (about €300,000). But according to another European organization, LobbyFacts, the Transparency Register’s data is “seriously unreliable.”
Whether or not the Transparency Register’s information is accurate, it’s not revealing the entire story. According to the U.K. Guardian, that figure is closer to $613,000 (€550,000) when accounting for the past three years. In total, Koch Industries may have spent as much as three-quarters of a million euros (around $835,000 USD) in attempts to buy off E.U. Regulators. Not surprisingly, King Charles and King David Koch are targeting trade and domestic markets in member states as well as environmental protection rules – particularly as these relate to global climate change.
Jason Anderson, who heads up the E.U. Climate and Energy Policy department for the World Wildlife Fund, isn’t too worried about the latter. He told the Guardian that “any climate science-denying pitches would receive short shrift [at E.U. Headquarters] in Brussels.” He did express concern over their involvement in trade issues, however, because it would enable private corporations to “exert more influence” over E.U. lawmakers.
Anderson’s concern over the latter is valid given the Koch Brothers activities involving recent, ill-advised trade deals. However, considering the brother’s history, Mr. Anderson should be a bit more concerned about the former as well. It’s no secret they’ve spent tens of millions of dollars (nearly $80 million since 1997, according to Greenpeace ) funding climate change denying “biostitutes.” The relatively paltry amount they’ve spent in Europe is likely to be just the beginning.
The Ring of Fire will keep you posted as this story develops.