Quantcast

An Open Letter to Charles Koch: Join Us in the Push Toward a Clean Energy Economy

Climate

Dear Mr. Koch,

Recently, at a Wall Street Journal forum, I heard from your company’s environmental, health and safety director, Sheryl Corrigan, that you believe that “the climate is changing,” and that “humans have a part in that.”

I wanted to write to welcome you into the not-very-exclusive club that includes the strong majority of Americans, 99+ percent of scientists, nearly all Democratic candidates and a growing number of conservative Republicans, who all believe the same thing. We’re happy to have you!

Sheryl also said, “the real question is … what are we going to do about it?”

I have a few suggestions.

First, make sure that everyone knows where you stand on this important issue. Your voice is an important one, and I hope you’ll speak up if your opinion has truly changed.

Second, a transition is underway across the world away from an energy system powered by expensive and unsustainable fossil fuels and toward one powered fully by abundant, increasingly inexpensive, clean, renewable energy. Clean energy is becoming more affordable and more accessible each day, with the cost of solar panels dropping by 80 percent in the past eight years and wind power expected to double in the next five years. As you know, this is in spite of your own advocacy: You have funded organizations like Americans for Prosperity that have targeted clean energy investments while fighting to preserve tax credits for big oil.

An overwhelming majority of Americans and business leaders support policies that incentivize investment in and development of clean energy. Now that your position on climate change may be shifting, we hope that you’ll join the push toward the clean energy economy and invest in the clean energy sources that increasingly are powering America and the world.

Third, put your money where reality is. You and your brother have spent hundreds of millions backing organizations and political candidates who either deny climate science or oppose nearly every policy that would advance climate solutions. If you want to advance prosperity in a climate-safe world, then please get out of the way and stop funding candidates, lobbying efforts and organizations that deny climate change is happening or that aim to undermine efforts to address the climate crisis. Specifically, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been driving efforts in states across the country to undermine plans to address the climate crisis, including opposing the Clean Power Plan. It’s time to make sure ALEC’s platform is in accord with the reality that you may now recognize — or to stop funding its damaging agenda.

While we may not agree on each solution for addressing the climate crisis, I hope we do agree that solutions are needed. Now, let’s get to work to make sure that candidates up and down the ticket from both political parties stop denying there’s a problem and get to work solving it.

The world recognizes that the threat of climate change is real and is determined to do something about it. We hope that you’ll join us.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Largest Civil Disobedience in History of the Environmental Movement Begins Today

Arctic Ice Melt Affects Weather Patterns All Over North Atlantic

Leaked Documents Confirm TTIP ‘Amounts to a Huge Transfer of Power from People to Big Business’

The Movement to Stop Fossil Fuel Development Is Winning

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Loggers operate in an area of lodgepole pine trees killed by the mountain pine beetle in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on Sept. 13, 2019 in Montana. As climate change makes summers hotter and drier in the Northern Rockies, forests are threatened with increasing wildfire activity, deadly pathogens and insect infestations, including the mountain pine beetle outbreak. The insects have killed more than six million acres of forest across Montana since 2000. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President Donald Trump told a crowd at the Davos World Economic Forum Tuesday that the U.S. will join the Forum's 1t.org initiative to restore and conserve one trillion trees around the world, according to The Hill.

Read More
Wild rice flatbread is one of many Native recipes found in Indigikitchen. Indigikitchen

The online cooking show Indigikitchen is providing a platform to help disseminate Indigenous food recipes — while helping eaters recognize their impact on the planet and Native communities.

Read More
Sponsored

On the Solomon Islands, rats and poachers are the two major threats to critically endangered sea turtles. A group of local women have joined forces to help save the animals from extinction.

Read More
Whale watching (here, off Húsavík, Iceland) may be better for the local economy than whale hunting. Davide Cantelli / Wikimedia / CC BY

By Joe Roman

One of the most important global conservation events of the past year was something that didn't happen. For the first time since 2002, Iceland — one of just three countries that still allow commercial whaling — didn't hunt any whales, even though its government had approved whaling permits in early 2019.

Read More
People participate in a national mile-long march to highlight the push for clean water in Flint Feb. 19, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

The Supreme Court made a decision Tuesday that means Flint residents can sue state and local officials over the water crisis that leached lead into their water and resulted in at least 12 deaths.

Read More