Federal Politics

Published — June 8, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

New documentary underscores Koch brothers’ broad influence in policy and politics

Introduction

Bloomberg has produced a video news program about Charles and David Koch, the brothers who built Koch Industries into a multibillion-dollar global corporation and have increasingly used their personal fortunes to back conservative political causes.

The program, part of a series called “Game Changers,” includes an interview with John Farrell, a senior reporter at iWatch News. Farrell documented Koch’s rapidly expanding presence in Washington in a project published in April titled, “Web of Influence.”

Some key findings from the Koch project:

  • Koch Industries has increased its lobbying from $857,000 in 2004 to $20 million in the last two years.
  • Koch has 165 manufacturing facilities and lobbies against increased regulation of toxic byproducts like dioxin, asbestos and formaldehyde.
  • Koch has purchased four ethanol plants with a combined capacity of 435 million gallons; ethanol subsidies cost the government $6 billion each year.
  • Koch lobbies to protect the Section 199 deduction to help U.S. manufacturers; the subsidy for energy firms cost the Treasury $14 billion over 10 years.
  • Koch had $100 billion revenues in 2009, second only to Cargill as a private U.S. company.

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