FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2011
Contact: Kristina Johnson
Sierra Club Launches Effort to Expose the Koch Brothers
Billionare Family Blocks Protection of Air, Water
PALM SPRINGS – In anticipation of a “secret” meeting to be hosted in Palm Springs this weekend by two infamously anti-environmental billionaire brothers, the Sierra Club will launch a social media campaign with its 1.4 million members and supporters to expose the Koch brothers’ planned assault on public health.
Charles and David Koch are billionaire oil tycoons who were featured in a recent New Yorker piece and are funding an enormous effort to roll back clean water and air protections. The brothers are expected to meet with wealthy friends and corporate CEOs in the Southern California desert this weekend to plan their agenda for the coming year – at the top of that list will be new efforts to gut environmental safeguards and clean air and water protections.
The Sierra Club is reaching out to its 1.4 million members and supporters using social media tools including Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about how the Koch brothers' agenda could increase cases of asthma, hinder children’s brain development with toxic mercury and threaten lives nationwide.
“Koch Industries is one of the biggest polluters in America, so it’s not surprising that they’ve spent millions blocking measures to protect our air and water,” said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. “The Kochs have also served as one of the biggest obstacles to our transition to a clean energy economy. You can thank the Koch brothers for standing in the way of new jobs in the wind, solar and efficiency industries. They have a lot of money, and they’re not afraid to spend it to influence politicians, fight public health safeguards and spread misinformation about pollution and climate disruption.”
The Koch brothers own a firm with revenues estimated at $100 billion and they are out to expand their profits at the cost of Americans’ health. A University of Massachusetts study identified Koch Industries as one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. From 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outspent even ExxonMobil in funding efforts against clean energy legislation.
“We can’t allow corporate polluters and oil tycoons to buy our government,” Brune said. “Americans need to know what the Koch brothers are up to, and we need to let our lawmakers know that we won’t allow these two billionaires to undermine environmental and public health safeguards for profit.”