Greenpeace's investigation into oil billionaires David and Charles Koch and their funding of climate denial organizations led our Climate Crime Unit to New York City, as the effort to apprehend these major funders of climate denial organizations continues. Our investigation led from the Yacht Club to the Empire State Building, but these elusive climate criminals were nowhere to be found.
But our detective did find evidence of their whereabouts:
In the aftermath of the Greenpeace report detailing Koch Industries and Koch Foundations' funding of climate denial organizations and front groups, David and Charles Koch have refused to address key questions about their destructive role in funding groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute. Instead, Koch Industries attempted to distance themselves from last week's tax day tea parties, even going so far as to send unprompted emails to news outlets including Talking Points Memo:
"Koch Industries, a major backer of myriad right-wing causes, issued an unsolicited statement last night in advance of Tax Day claiming it has never provided funding "specifically to support the tea parties." But when TPMmuckraker followed up, a spokeswoman acknowledged that Koch funds one of the most prominent national groups that organizes ... tea parties.
"Because you have covered tea parties in the past and we imagine you will cover tomorrow's Tax Day Tea Party in DC, we want to reiterate some important facts," wrote Melissa Cohlmia, the company's director of communication, in the email Wednesday evening.
"Koch companies value free speech and believe it is good to have more Americans engaged in key policy issues. That said, Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch and David Koch have no ties to and have never given money to FreedomWorks. In addition, no funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties. Thanks for your consideration."
Of course, as TPM points out, Americans for Prosperity does support tea party activities, and it not only receives funding from Koch Foundations, it was founded by David Koch himself. Despite their efforts to distance themselves from some of the groups they fund, the Koch Brothers seem quite all right putting their name on other recipients of their oil money.
So what do David and Charles Koch have to say about their role in funding climate denial organizations? Greenpeace sent the Koch Brothers a letter to seek some answers and invite them to a debate about their funding of organizations that distort climate science and oppose positive climate and clean energy policies.