HuffPost: Koch Brothers ‘Bought Themselves an Election,’ Democrats to Get Keystone XL

November 18th, 2014 4:47 PM

First it was just conservatives who were accused of doing the bidding of the Koch brothers. Now a radical climate change alarmist is accusing Senate Democrats of “trying to build them [the Koch brothers] a pet project,” the Keystone XL pipeline.

Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth, ranted against Democrats and Republicans alike in a Huffington Post op-ed on November 17, 2014. According to Pica, Democrats need to take “the just, responsible and moral stance” against fossil fuels and to stop being “more concerned with politics than the planet.” Besides environmental activism, Friends of the Earth takes a stance against free market capitalism.

This op-ed came after news that Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., had proposed that Congress approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and that at least some of her Democrat colleagues appeared ready to support her initiative.

Pica said that it isn’t just Republicans who are out to destroy the planet anymore, since both parties “are now competing to see which party can stamp its name on the Keystone XL pipeline that threatens our planet first.”

Senate Democrats “are more concerned about politics than the planet,” Pica claimed, because they are so highly influenced by the Koch brothers and oil industry leaders.

Pica compared their actions on Keystone XL (which would supposedly benefit the Kochs) to “inviting the wolf into the hen house.” These senators are apparently doing what the Kochs want because the libertarian philanthropists “bought themselves an election,” referring to Republicans’ midterm victory over Democrats on November 4, 2014.

If they want their party to regain power in the 2016 elections, Pica advised Democrat senators to take “the just, responsible and moral stance” by opposing fossil fuels and “rejecting a pipeline to export the world's dirtiest oil.”

Pica singled out Landrieu as “one of the oil industry's biggest champions,” and hailed her possible defeat by Republican candidate Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., in their runoff on December 2. He said if Landrieu loses, this would allow for “real energy leadership from the Senate in the future.”

Although he lamented the involvement of the Koch brothers and other industry leaders in the recent midterm elections, Pica made no mention of “climate change crusader” Tom Steyer. Steyer donated $73.8 million during this election cycle to fund more than 7,000 advertisements in seven key states. That made him the single biggest political donor this election cycle.

Steyer supported candidates who agreed with his liberal views on climate change, and paid for misleading ads that opposed the Keystone XL pipeline. NextGen Climate, the PAC Steyer founded and largely funded, “has paid for 7,050 ads in Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire and in the Florida governor’s race,” according to the October 2, 2014, Washington Post.

Pica’s attack against Democrats in the Senate and opposition to the Kochs was presumably part of his reported pledge to “fight to transform the political climate” which he said has led to “flaws in our economic system” and “many of our environmental and social problems.” published these comments on September 19, 2009, when Pica became Director of Friends of the Earth.

Friends of the Earth, which claimed online that it has more than “two million activists" (although it only has 164,481 fans on facebook), held an equally extreme position against corporations and business interests.

One of the group’s three cores principles involves promoting “systematic change,” meaning less corporate activity. Friends of the Earth’s website said, “We cannot afford to allow corporations to continue to profit by destroying the environment.”

Part of what the group said makes it “different” is that, “We know that solving deep-rooted environmental problems requires exposing and fighting the economic forces that fuel them.”