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Koch Brothers Receive Praise From Obama Administration

1:31 PM, Mar 1, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Progressives may have decided that businessmen and libertarian political benefactors David and Charles Koch are the latest harbingers of the vast right-wing conspiracy, but they could be shocked to learn that several Koch Industries subsidiaries have been working closely and productively with…the Obama administration.

Specifically, it’s with Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency that Koch Industries has been playing nice. In Texas last fall, for instance, the Koch-owned Flint Hills Resources helped forge an agreement between the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality in a regulation dispute. The move got the company praise from the EPA, calling the agreement a “model for other companies.” The Corpus Christi Caller-Times was all cheers for the Kochs:

The agreement involving Flint Hills, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency has far-reaching impact beyond the two local refineries that make the company one of Corpus Christi’s most significant employers. The company was the first to reach an agreement to trade in its state-issued permits for permits that will meet federal requirements. The agreement breaks new ground for industry statewide on an issue that also has statewide if not national political implications.

The EPA under President Obama has also praised Koch subsidiaries Georgia-Pacific and Invista for their cooperation with the agency. Georgia-Pacific even won an award from the EPA in 2009. Leftists may complain that these right-wing bogeymen are unfairly challenging federal environmental regulations so they can “keep pumping out pollution for free,” but it seems the Obama administration has a lot of positive things to say about the brothers Koch. 

In other Koch news, Charles Koch has penned an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal defending the brothers' advocacy in the name of fighting against crony capitalism.

Too many businesses have successfully lobbied for special favors and treatment by seeking mandates for their products, subsidies (in the form of cash payments from the government), and regulations or tariffs to keep more efficient competitors at bay.

Crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market. But it erodes our overall standard of living and stifles entrepreneurs by rewarding the politically favored rather than those who provide what consumers want.

Read the whole thing here.

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