Who and What are the "Koch Brothers"
Charles and David Koch (“the Koch brothers”) own Koch Industries, the second largest private corporation in the United States, with revenues at $100 billion (estimated by Forbes). Koch Industries is a highly diversified corporation, with extensive interests in industry including: fossil fuels, petrochemicals, natural gas, cattle, forestry, hedge funds, commodity and derivatives trading. These activities are highly profitable, but because they bring about considerable harms to people or the environment, they are highly regulated.
Koch's business interests have driven them to oppose regulations that protect public interest.
Long Standing pattern of Corporate corruption
Not only have Koch’s corporate activities frequently violated regulations, but they have repeatedly shown a criminal inclination.
A 1989 U.S. Senate investigation found Koch Oil to be “a widespread and sophisticated scheme to steal crude oil from Indians and others through fraudulent mis-measuring and reporting,” ultimately resulting in the theft of at least $31 million dollars worth of oil from Native American lands. The engineers instructed to carry out the corrupt method of over-extraction called it the “Koch method.”
In 1999, Koch was convicted of not just negligence, but malice in the death of two Texas teenagers a faulty gas pipeline explosion. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency found thatKoch Petroleum systematically covered up the dumping of high ammonia wastewater and jet fuel in Minnesota. In 2001, the Department of Justice found that Koch elaborately and purposefully concealed the illegally dumping of at least 91 tons of benzene into Texas waterways.
In late 2016, despite being the largest owner of the Colonial Pipeline, Koch Industries will avoid any liability for the historic gas spill in Shelby County, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of gallons of gas spilled, and several deadly explosions - claiming one life so far.
This lack of corporate accountability is a textbook example the “economic freedom” and corporate “well-being” promoted by Koch’s network of college professors, think-tanks, political groups, and politicians.
Why Comply when you can deregulate?
Regulations pose a direct threat to the profitability of Koch’s activities, and so the family has waged an elaborate political struggle against government oversight for decades.
They have facilitated a network of political and corporate donors who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on universities, think-tanks, and political groups for the "implementation of policy change" that aligns regulations and taxes with the profit motives wealthy white-collar criminals.
Charles Koch told USA Today that Freedom Partners intended to spend $899 million Freedom Partners on the 2016 election. Their political largesse, in true Koch styling, has also proven criminal.
In 2016, the Federal Election Commission announced record fines for several Koch affiliated “dark money groups . . . for concealing the sources of funds spent on political ads in 2010.”
(Read more background on Koch Industries, circa 2014, pg 7-10 of the UnKoch Toolkit)