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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi  (Read 10074 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #240 on: June 04, 2019, 10:00:04 pm »

June 4, 2019



Report Exposes Real Reason 🦕🦖 Kochs Fund Regulatory Center at George Washington University

A little over a year ago, student activists at George Mason University successfully exposed just how much influence the Koch brothers had over the university and its Mercatus Center. But as we mentioned last month when the Kochs announced a supposed shift away from politics, Mercatus is just one of hundreds of academic institutions the brothers fund to protect their profits. (Okay, we will admit it’s not JUST about Koch Industry profits--it’s also about protecting the tobacco industry, and occasionally promoting white nationalists…) 

Now, a new report from Public Citizen digs into a Mercatus-like situation at George Washington University’s Koch-funded Regulatory Studies Center (RSC). As one should rightly assume about something that involves the Koch’s so-called philanthropy, Public Citizen revealed it as nothing but a cog in the Koch profit machine.

Though RSC director Susan Dudley would like us to think its goal is to bring the public “an objective, unbiased look at the regulatory system,” Public Citizen examined RSC’s output, funders and personnel, and proves it is anything but unbiased. And Dudley herself, Public Citizen notes, has been involved with at least eight Koch-related groups, and once criticized the EPA for failing to take into account the benefits of smog as a skin-cancer-reducing form of sunblock.

Getting down to the numbers, one of the RSC’s main products is public comments on proposed regulations. Between 2013 and 2018, the report’s study period, over half of the RSC’s comment authors have been affiliated with at least 28 other different Koch groups in addition to the RSC. Those authors, in turn, made up 75% of comments coming from the RSC. Note to Dudley: getting money from people hurt by regulations makes your regulatory work biased, pretty much by definition.

That’s why it’s no surprise that Public Citizen found that 96% of RSC’s comments “relating to the stringency of specific regulations recommended less regulation than the proposal or status quo.” If that seems low, don’t worry: “100 percent of the comments relating to overarching regulatory policy recommended changes that would result in less regulation in the future.”

While RSC;s funding is kept obscure, Public Citizen was able to ascertain that the Charles Koch Foundation and ExxonMobil Foundation have both given the RSC more than a million dollars. This makes the RSC less of an “objective, unbiased” source of study and more of a tool of the Koch’s massive interlocking propaganda machine designed to make the public think a deregulatory agenda is an empirically sound philosophy, as opposed to simple industry advertising meant to protect profits and pollute the public.

And that they act as a component of a larger Koch strategy to warp reality to their liking is hardly accidental or hyperbolic. In fact, members of Koch organizations admitted this is exactly the case. Public Citizen’s report points to a 1996 essay by the Charles Koch Foundation’s chief strategist Richard Fink where he describes the foundation’s philanthropic philosophy for making social change.

First, “research done by scholars at our universities” produce the “intellectual raw materials” that are “transformed into a more practical or useable form.” Then think tanks and policy institutions have the job of “developing new policy and articulating its benefits,” and front groups “build diverse coalitions of individual citizens and special interest groups to press for the implementation of policy change.”

Thirty years later, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Public Citizen points to FreedomWorks president Adom Brandon, who wrote in 2018 that RSC and Mercatus team up with the Heritage and CEI to “act as the brains of the conservative regulatory fight” while Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity exist as “the muscles of the conservative movement.” 

Charles Koch Foundation director of Investments Charlie Ruger explained to an audience at a conference  in 2016 how the Koch network has “a constellation of network organizations that are focused on applying what comes out of the universities to change the world,” because “that’s sort of the core of the partnership. Money plus the network.”

In summary, and using their own words, the Kochs pay for “scholars at our universities” to create “intellectual raw materials” as “the brains of the conservative” fight against regulations, waged by “a constellation” of Koch-funded groups who serve as “the muscles of the conservative movement” in order to use “money plus the network” “to change the world.”

But sure, Susan Dudley, the RSC is definitely churning out “objective, unbiased” regulatory scholarship. The Kochs could afford to build a Frankensteinian monster of a political apparatus to serve them. But the only thing they couldn’t buy? A conscience.

read more:

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart,
having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. -- Luke 8:15

 

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