Koch rep: ‘The climate is changing’

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 11, 2016

A representative from Koch Industries Inc. said CEO Charles Koch believes that man-made climate change is occurring.

Sheryl Corrigan, Koch Industries’ environmental, health and safety director, told an audience in California that the company was focused on free-market policies to address climate change, rather than on whether climate change is real.

“Charles has said the climate is changing. So, the climate is changing,” Corrigan said. “I think he’s also said, and we believe, that humans have a part in that. I think what the real question is … what are we going to do about it?”

Among Koch subsidiaries are pulp and paper company Georgia-Pacific LLC and refiner Flint Hills Resources LP. Corrigan spoke at a conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Corrigan did not give any specific policy recommendations for addressing climate change but said the government should not pick “winners and losers” in the energy sphere.

“What we would like to see is no subsidies, no mandates. Technologies compete on their economic viability and based on, are they good for society,” she said, “meaning, do people want to buy them? Are they willing to pay for them? And then let those technologies compete.”

Environmentalists have long cried foul about brothers Charles and David Koch and their political operation, which has sought to elect candidates who have campaigned against addressing climate change.

Koch-tied Americans for Prosperity has aggressively campaigned against the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate change agenda (ClimateWire, Feb. 5).

Corrigan said she did not see anything misguided about the Koch advocacy operation when asked to square those political activities with the company’s position on climate change.

“Our shareholders have their political views, and the folks who work at Koch have their political views,” she said, “but at the end of the day, we’re in business to create value for society.”

Corrigan added that the company holds “very near and dear” the principle of integrity.

“We don’t rig the rules,” Corrigan said. “We don’t advocate subsidies or mandates or special favors for ourselves. That’s not who we are.”