If Republican politicians’ recent denials of man-made climate change or rising sea levels seem at odds with the scientific consensus of the globe, Al Gore can tell you why: Republicans are in the Koch brothers’ pockets.
Climate change denial was not always a plank in the GOP platform – as both John McCain and Mitt Romney can attest – but the party has since nailed it securely in place. Earlier this week, former Vice-President Al Gore spoke to David Axelrod at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics on why the Grand Old Party has made this about face:
“I don’t think it’s particularly complicated why they have all cowed into abandoning that position. They will face primary opponents financed by the Koch Brothers, and others who are part of their group, if they even breathe the slightest breath of sympathy for the truth about climate science.”
And just who are the Kochs? The Koch brothers are two of the richest people on the planet, with a combined net worth of over $80 billion. Together they run Koch Industries, the second largest private company in America with an annual revenue of $115 billion. As should be expected, their company is involved in a diverse array of industries, manufacturing and processing everything from minerals, fertilizers, fibers and cattle – to mining and refining oil and gas.
Koch Industries is currently the 14th largest air polluter in the country. Unfortunately, the Kochs also hold quite a bit of power over the Republican party, influencing restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency and spending tens of millions of dollars on not only Republican but also Democratic campaigns.
Responding to a video interview in which Rand Paul mocks the climate change movement as a pack of “hysterics,” Al Gore was downright nonchalant about the truth:
“And of course, Sen. Paul is from a coal state – but even if he were not…anyone who wants to set his or her aspirations on the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016 already knows that they can’t possibly cross the Koch brothers and the others that are part of that group, the large carbon polluters and ideological anti-statists who are really terrified that the government will do anything new.”
Check out the full video below: