For several weeks now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has taken to the chamber floor to malign David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who contribute heavily to libertarian causes and bankroll ads critical of Democrats.
On April 2, 2014, Charles Koch fired back in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, arguing that Reid’s comments were disrespectful and a bad sign for democracy. And he defended Koch Industries and their subsidiaries against attacks, including claims that they oppose environmental protections.
"Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration," Koch wrote. "EPA officials have commended us for our ‘commitment to a cleaner environment’ and called us ‘a model for other companies.’ " Subsidiaries of Koch Industries include manufacturers like paper maker Georgia Pacific and INVISTA, a textile fiber producer. It also owns companies that deal with excavation of natural resources like Flint Hills Resources and Koch Pipeline.
As you can imagine, these are industries that are heavily regulated by federal agencies like the EPA.
So does the EPA think Koch Industries is a model environmentalist? We decided to explore that claim.