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More Reports of Cancer Near Koch Brothers’ Factory

5:55 pm in Uncategorized by Robert Greenwald

Billionaire political donors Charles and David Koch aren’t the only ones who saw our latest investigative film. Thousands of people have posted comments on our Facebook page and have offered additional testimony about the Koch brothers’ pollution in their communities.

In a smear campaign orchestrated in response to our investigation, the Koch brothers attacked almost all of the residents featured in our film. These individuals say they’re suffering from cancer because they live too close to a Koch Industries factory, which pollutes rivers and creeks flowing near their rural homes.

This duality between the haves and have-nots in our society is a big driver of the rising tide of Occupy movement– and for good reason. The Koch brothers personify the top 1 percent and the avarice that’s allowed the richest Americans to profit at the expense of the other 99 percent and those of us who’re hardest hit by the jobs crisis and economic recession.

Thousands of people posted comments that both reflect the goals of the Occupy movement and aid the people of Crossett, Arkansas, who are part of the other 99 percent and have volunteered to hand-deliver these messages to the Kochs. Some viewers, like Lance Blann, reached us directly and shared their personal reactions.

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Exposing the Koch brothers’ polluted response

7:17 pm in Uncategorized by Robert Greenwald

Billionaire political donors Charles and David Koch were among the tens of thousands of viewers of our latest investigative film, and they didn’t like it.

Our film’s protagonists, one of whom is a local minister named David Bouie, made personal appeals for a visit by the Koch brothers. The Kochs do not acknowledge this honest request that David Koch, a cancer survivor himself, spend the night as a guest of Mr. Bouie’s in Crossett, Arkansas, a community harassed by a Koch factory’s pollution.

What are the Koch brothers hiding if they won’t visit one of their own factories and company towns?

The Kochs ignored the invitation, instead resorting to smear tactics and deception, this time attacking David Bouie, a 64-year-old retired factory worker, in an attempt to duck responsibility for their $100 billion multinational corporation.

The Kochs’ defensiveness belies the facts. Rather than relocating the residents whose stories we told, the Koch brothers’ reaction demonstrates they’ve bought the system and they prefer to blame the victims for their illnesses.

Blaming the victims for being victims
Mr. Bouie explained his personal history selling his rights years ago to the Koch brothers’ subsidiary company, Georgia-Pacific, for a few hundred dollars. In Mr. Bouie’s blog, he explained how his neighbors in adjacent communities were compensated by Georgia-Pacific at a higher rate than he and how the polluting factory paid for their relocation.

Mr. Bouie and his neighbors had no such luck reaching the Koch brothers person to person. Instead, the Koch brothers attack his credibility and integrity on a website.

In their smears, the Koch brothers’ message consultants turn their fire toward Cheryl Slavant, another protagonist in our film and the President of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. She’s rightfully aghast by the terrible conditions surrounding the interstate Ouachita River, which is what’s fouling Mr. Bouie’s neighborhood on Penn Road.

The Koch brothers spin cannot acknowledge what our investigation and countless other credible reports have proven to be true: that the Koch brothers persuade a system to permit and tolerate their practices. The Koch brothers’ nameless spokespeople claim the EPA has debunked all Slavant’s claims so, ergo, the pollution emitted by Koch Industries and Georgia Pacific is safe, harmless and legal.

An EPA influenced by Charles and David Koch
Armed with more than $40 billion each and a private company unaccountable to anyone that generates $100 billion revenue annually, the Koch brothers are able to donate to politicians, foundations, non-profits and think tanks. These Koch supported groups lay the groundwork for incremental policy changes that support the Koch brothers’ increasing corporate profits.

That the EPA is giving the green light to toxic pollution by the Koch brothers, or anyone else, is less a gold star for the Koch brothers than it is an indictment of our political system, which affords the wealthiest 1 percent a blank check at the expense of the bottom 99 percent.

The Koch brothers’ “fact checkers” say that air pollution control engineering expert William M. Auberle’s comments in our film describing GP’s pollution as “a ticking time bomb” is unrealistic. The government permits Koch Industries emissions.

That’s why we’re pleased to see some environmental groups confronting the EPA on these grounds. While the Kochs continue to donate heavily to Congress, there are groups appealing to the notion that we’re a nation of laws not men.

“The Clean Water Act does not allow our streams to be turned into industrial sewers,” says Barry Sulkin, the former Chief of Enforcement and Compliance for the Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control and a director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Or perhaps you could post a comment that David Bouie and Cheryl Slavant can hand-deliver to the Koch brothers and that echoes Mr. Bouie’s direct appeal to David Koch.

As Mr. Bouie wrote:

David, if you’re reading this, I want to be your host at 401 South Penn Road. Come stay with me for one day, seven days, I don’t care. We can camp out, and you can smell what I smell. My wife and I will cook for you. I make great pork chops…

It’d be my hope we can have some time to go for a walk. You can see for yourself- the fog- and smell for yourself- the rotten air- that I live with every day.

And I pray that I might be able to convince you to clean up this mess and relocate us like Georgia-Pacific did for other communities like ours. Indeed, just as Georgia Pacific compensated Thurman Road residents for their relocation years ago, please be a good neighbor to us. We cannot relocate on our own.

We are ground zero.

Why Do These Koch Industries Neighbors Have Cancer? (VIDEO)

1:47 pm in Uncategorized by Robert Greenwald

Our ongoing Koch Brothers Exposed video investigation has discovered something so tragic it will haunt Charles and David Koch for years to come.

Is a Koch Industries factory getting away with murder?

While the brothers wage war against safety precautions, every day their factory is dumping millions of gallons of wastewater into streams that flow near a small rural town. It’s this kind of abuse by the top 1% of Americans that’s driving young and old to fight money in politics, occupy Wall Street and protest in the streets. The Koch brothers personify inequality, and people are rising up and have identified the overwhelming corporate influence on democracy as a corrosive stain that harms the rest of us.

Our latest video reflects this as we follow the money and prove the Koch brothers buy a system that makes them richer at the expense of everyone else. Through political donations, think tanks and front groups, the Koch brothers are able to weaken safety and oversight laws, which leaves communities like Crossett, Arkansas behind to suffer.

“The Koch brothers are killing me and my family,” Norma Thompson told us during our investigation. She’s lived near the Koch brothers’ mill for 39 years. Journey to Arkansas and watch her story:

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