Koch Denies Having Interest in Keystone Implementation

Disagreements on the Keystone Pipeline continue in Congress as Republicans insist that the project move forward.

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing Friday on a bill to mandate approval of the pipeline. Before the subcommittee met, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) held a press conference to express his opposition to the project.

"With the pipeline, we're going to get more carbon pollution, more dangerous oil spills, land seizures by a foreign company and higher oil prices," said Waxman. "The American people will bear the risk, and the oil companies will reap the profits."

Waxman accused Koch Industries of being behind efforts to lobby for the pipeline. The company, headed by billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch, is known for contributing to conservative causes.

"When we asked Koch Industries a year ago whether they had an interest in this matter, they told us no," Waxman said. However, Waxman stated that Canadian documents have proven otherwise, and that they reveal a direct financial interest from the company in the pipeline.

Koch Industries ignored Democrats' calls for them to send representatives to testify at today's hearing.

UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Koch Industries responded to TRNS's request for a comment in response to Waxman's claims. Here is the full statement from Philip Ellender, Koch's Government and Public Affairs President and COO: (also available here)

"In response to the repeated false allegations by Representative Waxman and some news media, Koch has consistently and repeatedly stated that we have no financial interest whatsoever in the Keystone pipeline. In addition, this fact has been verified by TransCanada's CEO. Further, the notion that Koch as an intervenor means that we have an interest in the project has been completely debunked. An 'intervenor' status in the proceeding does not mean that the Koch subsidiary at issue has a financial or ownership interest in the project. In fact, some of the intervenors in this case include Sierra Club Canada, Alberta Federation of Labour, several First Nation groups, other companies, and numerous individuals."

In addition, Koch's General Counsel, Mark Holden, had this to say:

"Contrary to Representative Waxman's claim, we never said that we have a direct and substantial interest in the pipeline project. What Flint Hills Resources Canada said was that it had an interest in the application that was pending before the National Energy Board. We have been completely honest with all involved in this matter, and any suggestion to the contrary is simply not true."

talkradionews.com, Fri Feb 3 2012

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