Oil Slick

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Oil Slick

How to choke off clean air with independent expenditures.

by Romesh Ratnesar and John Cook

#10 David H. Koch, 56, Wichita, Kan. Party: R and Libertarian. $339,000 total contributions.

View Koch’s itemized contributions.

When the Environmental Protection Agency announced last November it would update Clean Air Act standards to ban dust particle emissions that reportedly cause 40,000 premature deaths annually, big industries sharpened their knives. (Final EPA regulations are due by July.) Oil companies, automakers, and the nation’s largest manufacturers claim it will cost them billions to comply. Among them is David Koch, chairman of Koch Industries, whose oil subsidiary is being sued by the government for Clean Water Act violations, for a reported $55 million. Although Koch gave $339,000 to federal campaigns in 1995-96, it’s only one way he sought influence. He also gives through a tangled web of think tanks, PR agencies, and trade associations, all of which want Congress to gut the Clean Air Act.

View the Map of Koch’s Influence (Warning: This is a 234K file)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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