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The CEO that said that his privately-owned company will publicly offer shares "literally over my dead body" can get the last laugh as Rex Tillerson, the new Chief at Exxon, is getting all the flack these days for being... well, the leader of "ExxonMob", the number one cited corporate culprit of the global warming epidemic in media history. And rightly so - with their beyond-repent past, Exxon can't help but have its foot strategically placed near its mouth.

And that privately owned company? It's Koch Industries and its history of founding (anti?)think tanks and strategic funding of institutes makes its path uncannily similar to the path taken by its public counterpart, Exxon.

A DeSmogBlog Dispatch

As regular readers of DeSmogBlog know, ExxonMobil has been a regular target of bad ink for their continued funding of "think" tanks and industry associations that spread misinformation about the scientific evidence for human-caused global warming.

However, an organization that you made not of heard of is equally guilty of such activities. The Koch (pronounced "coke") Family of Foundations is run by David and Charles Koch, sons of the founder of Koch Industries, Fred Koch. Koch Industries is the world's largest privately owned company and while it now boasts a diversified portfolio of companies, it cut its teeth in the 1940's as an oil refining company and today produces 800,000 barrels of oil per day through one of its subsidiaries.

While Exxon is continuously vilified as the leader of the attack on climate change science, the Koch Foundation is heavily involved in the same type of activity, but receives very little of the bad press.

Some examples:

The Cato Institute was founded by Charles Koch in 1977, and has received a reported $13.2 million from the Koch Family foundations since 1986. Cato has received $110,000 from ExxonMobil since 1991.

The Heritage Foundation has received $2.4 million from Koch, while receiving $585,000 from ExxonMobil.

The Reason Foundation has received $2.2 million from Koch, while receiving $381,000 from ExxonMobil.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute received $666,000 from Koch, while receiving a whopping $2 million from ExxonMobil.

And the list goes on, but the media and NGO spotlight remains heavily focussed on the funding activities of the publicly traded oil company, while the private one remains, for the most part, private. We here at the DeSmogBlog are just as guilty of focusing most of our attention on the activities of ExxonMobil, as are many others. And why not. With ExxonMobil publicly disclosing its funding activities on an annual basis, they make an easy target.

In the Fall, 2006 the Royal Society in the UK issued a public letterdemanding that ExxonMobil discontinue its think tank war on climate science and this demand was met with a small measure of success. ExxonSecrets.org, operated by Greenpeace, has done amazing work as well in this area. Such efforts are to be commended. However it is imperative that when it comes to such things we do not put on our Exxon blinders to the exclusion of all others.

To that end I have registered the website domain name www.kochsecrets.org if anyone is interested.

A DeSmogBlog Dispatch

Originally posted to Desmogblog on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 01:20 PM PDT.

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