Koch Industries Adds Cantor Connection to Lobbying Efforts

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According to a report in The Hill, Koch Industries has enlisted a former top aide to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and two other former House Appropriations Committee staffers to lobby on an anti-carbon tax resolution before the House.

While carbon tax proposals pushed by a left-right coalition of groups have little hope of passage anytime soon, Koch Industries seems determined to prevent it from gaining traction. The company recently hired several lobbyists at Shockey Scofield Solutions, LLC to advance a resolution calling carbon taxes harmful to American businesses and families, including Mike Ference, who through late 2012 was a senior policy aide to Cantor, the second highest ranking member of House leadership.

As Koch Industries amps up pressure on the House to pass their favored resolution, they'll have plenty of favors to call on:

  • 176 members of the chamber received a total of $1,464,103 in contributions from the Koch Industries PAC and employees in the 2012 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
  • The PAC has handed out an additional $1,083,000 to federal candidates through June of this year. In fact, the $262,000 it contributed in June was Koch Industries PAC’s largest monthly total ever in a non-election year.
  • Majority Leader Cantor and his leadership PAC have received $64,650 from Koch Industries’ PAC and employees over the years, including a $2,000 contribution from Koch Industries PAC in June.
  • Cantor has also previously attended at least three of the semi-annual donor retreats held by the billionaire Koch brothers and was a featured speaker about Republican legislative strategy at the retreat in 2011.

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), has a solid chance at passage, with 148 cosponsors in a body that has repeatedly passed resolutions supported by the fossil fuel industry, such as calling for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. But when you're a well-funded operation like Koch Industries, hiring a few extra lobbyists and spreading around some more campaign cash is a small investment to make sure Congress acts.