Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb: The Case for Keeping the Koch Brothers’ Tar Sands Assets in the Ground

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Billionaires’ Carbon Bomb: The Case for Keeping the Koch Brothers Tar Sands Assets in the Ground connects the Kochs’ 50-year history in the Canadian tar sands to the current debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline. IFG’s report investigates the Kochs’ role in the push for the Keystone XL Pipeline and other infrastructure vital for tar sands development, and what is at stake for Koch if the pipeline passes, or is rejected.

The Kochs have long been one of the largest players in the tar sands region of Alberta, Canada, but the research in IFG’s latest report indicates that the Kochs hold close to two million acres in Alberta, more than any other major US oil company. While the Kochs stand to profit more than anyone from the pipeline if the project is approved they also stand to lose just as much: the tar sands land-holdings could be rendered “stranded assets” if the pipeline is not approved. The Kochs have also out-spent every other oil company in promoting the pipeline and actively working against attempts to meet international and US climate goals.


Click here to learn more about
the Kochs’ tar sands leases.

Other findings in the report include that the Kochs:

  • Have two million acres in Alberta tar sands land holdings could be responsible for over 19 billion metric tons of carbon emissions, exceeding those of Exxon, Conoco and Chevron combined.
  • Could earn one million times more than the average Keystone XL construction worker over the lifetime of the project. While less than 4,000 workers will win contracts for the two-year pipeline project, the Kochs could continue earning millions of dollars each year that the pipeline stands.
  • Have given more than $53 million to think tanks and front groups who support the construction of the pipeline. Koch-funded think tanks and political organizations have released nearly 1,000 pro-KXL reports or statements. Koch outspent all other oil companies to block US climate action through lobbying, sponsoring climate denial scientists and blocking attempts at a global climate deal.
  • Koch Exacerbating CO2 Emissions

    Click here to learn more about how Koch could exacerbate carbon emissions.

  • Have already made billions of dollars from oil derivatives trading based on their insider’s industry knowledge through their subsidiary, Koch Supply and Trading (KST), and have the potential to do this again with tar sands.
  • Seek to alter the public policy debates in Washington through their extensive political influence network. The Kochs have spent $76 million on Congressional candidates who support tar sands exploitation and the construction of the Keystone Pipeline.

To take action, please sign the UNITY LETTER against the Keystone XL Pipeline, in partnership with and other organizations.
Click here to watch an anti-KXL video message from Lakota youth to President Obama.

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