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Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.

September 7th, 2011 6:53 PM

Will President Obama side with the Koch brothers or American families?

Charles Koch, one of our country's most prolific conservative donors, was recorded praising his oil, energy and Wall Street friends who contributed millions of dollars to his political causes. That Koch likely referred to President Obama as Saddam Hussein and framed the upcoming election as the "mother of all wars" overshadowed the real news.

There's disclosure about the Koch brothers secret strategy sessions. The recording at the center of the controversy was taken from the most recent Koch seminar in June, and we now know the litany of polluting tycoons and industrialists who are allied with the Kochs in ideology and corporate greed. And like the Koch brothers, this millionaire and billionaire club stands to gain from the hazardous and unnecessary Keystone XL oil pipeline, which passed a critical assessment in Hillary Clinton's State Department.

The billionaire brothers are the subject of our activist community that's taking action to stop the Kochs on this controversy and other critical policies that affect our society and health. The Koch brothers would gain from this oil pipeline at the expense of working families, who live and work along the roughly 2,000 miles of the pipeline's route.

The brothers own almost all of the $100-billion Koch Industries, which is "among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters," according to a Koch subsidiary's website. The Kochs also operate an entire business line called Koch Exploration Canada, L.P., which is devoted to exploring and refining one of the most toxic energy sources on Earth.

Koch Industries handles 25 percent of this oil, and the brothers stand to make millions of dollars from the pipeline's construction, which could generate $15 trillion for special interests in North America.

We've told the State Department that we don't need this pipeline. A shorter predecessor pipeline has had multiple spills in multiple locations in the U.S., damaging wildlife havens and American communities.

There's even proof that an oil pipeline extension would actually raise the price of oil in the Midwest.

If President Obama and Secretary of Clinton OK the Keystone XL pipeline, they'll be directly benefiting the Koch brothers, who are two of their fiercest rivals. As former Vice President Al Gore said of the President's recent decision to relent on healthier environmental protections, "Instead of relying on science, President Obama appears to have bowed to pressure from polluters who did not want to bear the cost of implementing new restrictions on their harmful pollution."

The Koch brothers position on the Keystone XL oil pipeline reflects how precisely their ideology dovetails with their greed. Whether it's Social Security or public education, the Koch brothers use their money to benefit their self-serving ideology and grow their corporate profits.

We're seeing that again in the next phase of our investigation. The Koch brothers reap gargantuan profits from Georgia-Pacific, part their paper and pulp manufacturing business. We are wrapping up interviews with folks who've become ill from the Koch brothers pollution. You can be the first ones to see our upcoming investigative film by following me on Twitter and joining our activist community taking action against the Kochs at our Koch Brothers Exposed page on Facebook.

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