Increased risk of asthma attack, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and, yes, premature death: These are some of the adverse health effects that the EPA cites in their call for mercury emissions regulations. But the Kochs continually disregard health risks to protect their profits.
In 2012, according to the U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, Koch Companies Public Sector – the lobbying arm of the brothers’ corporate empire – spent three out of four quarters lobbying on a resolution for the Senate to formally disapprove of the EPA’s MATS standards. So it comes as no surprise that the Koch-allied think tank, the Cato Institute, spiked the proverbial football after the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA’s MATS emission regulations in State of Michigan vs. EPA today.
In their press release Cato says the Supreme Court’s decision is a “clear victory for common sense.” How convenient that “common sense” rules in favor of their billionaire benefactors as well as the amicus brief that Cato submitted on Michigan’s behalf.
They aren’t alone, or at least, they’ve got the Koch network backing them. Along with the Cato Institute, the Kochs’ senior citizens’ front group, 60 Plus, also praised the courts decision.
The Kochs have a long history of working against the EPA, rejecting its very existence as well as its carbon standards and regulation of toxic chemicals.
Koch front group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) owns a web page devoted entirely to stopping the EPA. In 2014, AFP also joined forces with the American Legislative Exchange Council (another organization that receives funding from the brothers) to repeal renewable energy standards.
While the Kochs are celebrating, the nation faces growing health risks, especially for children.
According to a release by the Sierra Club:
The protections this court rejected would shield our kids from the lifelong neurological damage brought on by exposure to toxic mercury, and prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks annually.
But the same regulations that act as protections for our health and our families’ health hurts the Kochs’ profits, and they’d much rather see the air we breathe at our homes and schools polluted than take a hit on their bottom line.