Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Koch Brothers? Like Rupert Murdock, these billionaires have influenced Politics way more than villain George Soros.

Corporate American is about to win again, thanks to a well funded campaign and a ballot initiative that would effectively kill California's clean energy law. This law has been the target of Republicans and big energy interests for years, but with the help of the Supreme Court decision that disputed the influence of money, free market capitalism now owns our elections.

NY Times: Four years ago, bipartisan majorities in the California Legislature
approved a landmark clean energy bill that many hoped would serve as a template for a national effort to reduce dependence on foreign oil and mitigate the threat of climate change. Now a well-financed coalition of right-wing ideologues, out-of-state oil and gas companies and climate-change skeptics is seeking to effectively kill that law with an initiative on the November state ballot.

The money men include Charles and David Koch, the Kansas oil and gas billionaires who have played a prominent role in financing the Tea Party movement. The prospect that these rules could reduce gasoline consumption strikes terror into some energy companies. The Koch brothers have contributed about $1 million, partly because they worry about damage to the bottom line at Koch Industries, and also because they believe that climate change is a left-wing hoax.

This horrifically blatant pro-oil industry ad is so arrogantly silly, it's almost laughable.

They have argued that the law will lead to higher energy costs and job losses, arguments that resonate with many voters in a state with a 12.4 percent unemployment rate.

But this overlooks the enormous increase in investments in clean energy technologies — and the jobs associated with them — since the law was passed. AB 32’s many friends — led by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California — have therefore mounted a spirited counterattack in defense of the law. Another respected Republican, George Shultz — a cabinet member in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations — has signed on as a co-chairman of this effort. Mr. Shultz credits AB 32 for an unprecedented “outburst” of technological creativity and investment.

Who wins if this law is repudiated? The Koch brothers, maybe, but the biggest winners will be the Chinese, who are already moving briskly ahead in the clean technology race.

Here's more on the Koch brothers and their Rally for Jobs, or "Help our Bottom Line," from Rachel Maddow:

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