Friday, October 29, 2010

The Kochs' Mercatus Center and Environmental Deregulation

In the mid-eighties, the Koch family foundations provided millions of dollars to George Mason University to set up a conservative think tank. Now known as the Mercatus Center, it fights environmental regulation, opposes clean energy legislation, and resists effort to curb industrial pollution.

Koch foundations have contributed more than thirty million dollars to George Mason University and $1,442,000 has been given directly to the Mercatus Center.

The Mercatus Center is ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington. Much of their energy is devoted to environmental deregulation and their primary weapon is misinformation. They have also worked to undermine the Obama Presidency. Shortly after the stimulus bill was passed, the Mercatus Center released a report falsely claiming that stimulus funds had been directed disproportionately toward Democratic districts. Although the author was eventually forced to recant, the damage was done.

The link between Mercantus and the Kochs is irrefutable. The founder of the Mercatus Center is Richard Fink, he is currently executive vice president of Koch Industries and the head of Koch Industries' lobbying operation in Washington. Fink also retains a seat on the board of directors at the Mercantus Center.

Although the Mercatus Center promotes itself as “the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems,” it is actually a conservative propaganda machine that serves the Kochs' corporate interests.

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