Waxman Renews Request For Congress To Investigate Koch Industries Interest in Keystone XL Pipeline

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
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Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) today renewed his request to Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce investigate Koch Industries’ interest in the Keystone XL pipeline. Rep. Waxman’s letter cites the recent revelations in InsideClimate News that Koch subsidiary Flint Hills Resources Canada LP claimed “a direct and substantial interest” in the Keystone XL in front of Canadian regulators, while the Kochtopus continues to deny any interest publicly. 

Koch representatives previously told Rep. Waxman that Keystone XL has “nothing to do with any of our businesses” and that Koch has “no financial interest” in the pipeline.

Waxman writes in his letter [PDF] today: 
“There appears to be a direct contradiction between what Koch representatives told me and the assertion by a Koch subsidiary that it “has a direct and substantial interest” in the Keystone XL pipeline. I believe the Committee should examine this matter to determine the nature ofKoch’s  interest in the pipeline. The Committee should also investigate whether Koch sought to conceal its interest in the pipeline from the Committee. 

These issues are significant and timely given the pending approvals required for the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been the subject of legislation by our Committee.  Charles and David Koch and Koch Industries should not be exempt from responsible oversight and normal accountability.  If members of the Committee were misled by Koch, that is a serious matter that deserves prompt and thorough investigation.”

Rep. Waxman first made the request in the spring of 2011 following another investigation by InsideClimate News that showed how the billionaire Koch brothers may stand to benefit from the Keystone XL pipeline. 

Koch has once again denied the allegations, according to an email sent to InsideClimate News by Philip Ellender, president and COO at Koch subsidiary Koch Companies Public Sector.

Extensive campaign contributions from the Kochtopus to members of the House Energy and Commerce committee will likely ensure that no thorough investigation is pursued.  Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times tallied up the numbers and found that Koch and its employees gave $279,500 to 22 of the energy committee’s 31 Republicans and $32,000 to five Democrats.

Read more at InsideClimate News.

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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