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Kochs: Under the Radar, Lawsuits, Violations, and Other Bad Deeds

March 17, 2011


Here is a comprehensive List of Lawsuits, Environmental Violations, and other Bad Deeds by Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries. These men should be in jail, but instead they are the powerful funding source behind the Tea Party and Mercatus Group and many other front groups that lobby against the EPA and environmental regulation.

BTW: I worked in the automotive business for 20 years. When the EPA cracked down on the auto industry for fouling America’s waterways, that was the beginning of the flight of U.S. corporations to oversees where there is no EPA and very lax environmental regulations. But the Kochs just keep on dumping their pollution in America’s waterways and rivers. There narcissistic sense of entitlement is overwhelming.

In 1999, William Koch brought a civil suit against his brothers, Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, under the False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to file suit on behalf of the federal government. The accusation? William Koch accused Koch Industries of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in oil from federal lands. The suit was settled two years later by Charles Koch who agreed to pay $25 million in penalties to the federal government to have the suit dismissed.

In November 27, 2000 William Koch did an interview with 60 Minutes: Blood and Oil, to expose the nefarious and criminal dealings of his brothers. The transcript is still available to read online at 60 Minutes web site – click here.

In August 2001, 60 Minutes posted this update:

In May, 2001, Bill Koch and Koch Industries announced a legal settlement of all their disputes, effectively putting an end to the two-decade family feud. The settlement calls for Koch Industries to pay $25 million in penalties to the U.S. government for improperly taking more oil than it paid for from federal and Indian lands. About a third of it goes to Bill Koch or bringing the lawsuit.

Koch industries has faced other troubles with the government since the original broadcast in November. In April, Koch’s Petroleum Group was fined 20 million dollars after it released huge amounts of cancer-causing benzene from a Texas refinery and then tried to cover it up.

What is Benzene?
Go to the American Cancer Society web site for a complete description. Bottom line: Benzene is known to cause cancer, based on evidence from studies in both people and laboratory animals. The link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and cancers of other blood cells.

Here is another galring example of irresponsible actions by the Kochs — remember these are the same two guys who own Goergia-Pacific and produce Angel Soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, Vanity Fair napkins and more. The list can be found on our blog here.

Koch Petroleum Group, L.P. Refinery Settlement

From the EPAs website.…. no wonder the Koch’s are anti-EPA.

Agreement Is The First Of Its Kind In The Petroleum Refining Industry

Under the agreement reached with the Justice Department and EPA, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on December 22, 2000 Koch will spend an estimated $80 million to install up-to-date pollution-control equipment at two refineries in Corpus Christi, Tex. and one near St. Paul, Minn., reducing emissions from stacks, leaking valves, wastewater vents and flares. Koch also will pay a $4.5 million penalty to settle Clean Air Act violations and other environmental claims at its Minnesota refinery. The State of Minnesota has joined in the settlement with the United States. The civil settlement calls for actions that will be undertaken by Koch over the next 8 years.

The agreement will cut nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions from the three refineries by 5,200 tons through 2008, through the use of upgraded technologies. Improved leak detection and repair practices and other pollution-control upgrades will also result in significant reductions in smog-causing volatile organic compounds and benzene, a known carcinogen. The agreement also includes measures to improve safety for workers and local communities sharply reducing accidental releases of pollutants.

The civil action is distinct from a Justice Department ongoing criminal prosecution against Koch Petroleum Group for alleged illegal activity at the company’s refinery in Corpus Christi, Tex. An indictment returned against Koch Petroleum in September 2000 charges that the company conspired to violate the Clean Air Act at the refinery in 1995 and 1996.

Wikipedia Lists These Violations by the Kochs:

In March 1999, Koch Petroleum Group, a Koch Industries subsidiary, pled guilty to charges that it had negligently dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel into wetlands near the Mississippi River from its refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and that it had also illegally dumped a million gallons of high-ammonia wastewater onto the ground and into the Mississippi River. Koch Petroleum paid the Dakota County Park System a $6 million fine and $2 million in remediation costs, and was ordered to serve three years of probation.

In 1999, a federal jury found that Koch Industries had stolen oil from government and American Indian lands, had lied about its purchases more than 24,000 times, and was fined $553,504.

In January 2000, a Koch Industries subsidiary, Koch Pipeline, agreed to a $35 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the State of Texas. This settlement, including a $30 million civil fine, was incurred for the firm’s three hundred oil spills in Texas and five other states going back to 1990. The spills resulted in more than three million gallons of crude oil leaking into ponds, lakes, streams and coastal waters.

In 2001, the company reached two settlements with the government. In April, the company reached a $20 million settlement in exchange for admitting to covering up environmental violations at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. That May, Koch Industries paid $25 million to the federal government to settle a federal lawsuit that found the company had improperly taken more oil than it had paid for from federal and Indian land.

Note: They made a reported profit in their scheme of $250 million.

In June 2003, the US Commerce Department fined Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hill Resources a $200,000 civil penalty. The fine settled charges that the company exported crude petroleum from the US to Canada without proper US government authorization. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said from July 1997 to March 1999, Koch Petroleum (later called Flint Hill Resources) committed 40 violations of Export Administration Regulations.

In 2006, Koch Industries’ subsidiary Flint Hill Resources was fined nearly $16,000 by the EPA for 10 separate violations of the Clean Air Act at its Alaska oil refinery facilities, and required to spend another $60,000 on safety equipment needed to help prevent future violations.

In 2007, Koch Nitrogen’s plant in Enid, Oklahoma, was listed as the third highest company releasing toxic chemicals in Oklahoma, according to the EPA, ranking behind Perma-Fix Environmental Services in Tulsa and Weyerhaeuser Co. in Valliant. The facility produces about 10% of the US national production of anhydrous ammonia, as well as urea and UAN.

In 2009, Koch subsidiary Invista agreed to pay a $1.7 million civil penalty and spend up to $500 million to correct self-reported environmental violations at its facilities in seven states. Prior to the settlement, the company had disclosed to the EPA more than 680 violations after auditing 12 facilities acquired from DuPont in 2004.

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