Bloomberg has produced a video news program about Charles and David Koch, the brothers who built Koch Industries into a multibillion-dollar global corporation and have increasingly used their personal fortunes to back conservative political causes.
The program, part of a series called "Game Changers," includes an interview with John Farrell, a senior reporter at iWatch News. Farrell documented Koch's rapidly expanding presence in Washington in a project published in April titled, "Web of Influence."
Some key findings from the Koch project:
- Koch Industries has increased its lobbying from $857,000 in 2004 to $20 million in the last two years.
- Koch has 165 manufacturing facilities and lobbies against increased regulation of toxic byproducts like dioxin, asbestos and formaldehyde.
- Koch has purchased four ethanol plants with a combined capacity of 435 million gallons; ethanol subsidies cost the government $6 billion each year.
- Koch lobbies to protect the Section 199 deduction to help U.S. manufacturers; the subsidy for energy firms cost the Treasury $14 billion over 10 years.
- Koch had $100 billion revenues in 2009, second only to Cargill as a private U.S. company.