Don’t Be A Koch Head: Boycott These Products

Koch BrothersDo you know the Koch Brothers?  They are Charles and David Koch.  They collectively own 84% of the privately run energy conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc. which they inherited from their father.  It is the second-largest privately owned company in the world. The Koch Brothers also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company.  Being rich, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.  However, it is the way these men choose to do business which is the problem.  Are they ethical businessmen? Some people think they are amongst the most evil people in America. Below is a list of the products that they sell that I am personally boycotting.  In between the posts I have put some of their less-than-moral business decisions, which is why they should be boycotted.  You can decide for yourself if these are the type of people you want to do business with.  We’re the ones that keep them in power…

myfivebest -1Gasoline
The following gasoline is provided to you through the Koch Brothers.  Gasoline from these refineries is purchased through: Chevron Union (Ironic, isn’t it?), Union, Union 76, and Conaco.  So, when it comes to buying gasoline, where are you going to turn to?  BP just clogged up the Gulf of Mexico due to negligence, you can read more about the ethics of the Koch Brothers below…Sunoco? Marathon? Exxon? – they aren’t the Koch Brothers…

Through monetary contributions, the Koch Brothers have sponsored Americans for Prosperity (their Tea Party movement), The Heritage Foundation, The Reason Foundation, The Institute For Justice and many more.  Through their massive funding efforts, they have fought against health care and are fighting against protecting social security, as well as fighting efforts to halt climate change, Immigration rights, unemployment insurance, environmental protections, the rights of unions to organize.

myfivebest - 2Paper Products
When it comes to paper products around your house, the Koch Brothers have really tried to push their influence.  They own the following toilet papers: Angel Soft, Soft ‘n Gentle, and Quilted Northern.  Alternatives can be: Charmin (Proctor & Gamble), Cottonelle (Kimberly-Clark), or Scott (Scott Brands).  They are also into paper towels with products like Brawny and Mardis Gras.  Avoid napkins and paper plates, too.  The Koch Brothers own Vanity Fair, Dixie, Sparkle, and Zee.  Options for you include: Hefty (Pactiv Corp) and Solo (Solo Cup Inc.).

In 2010, Koch Industries was ranked 10th on the list of top US corporate air polluters, the “Toxic 100 Air Polluters,” by the Political Economic Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

myfivebest - 3Out And About
This stuff might be a little harder to boycott.  Koch Industries into just about everything, including some of the copyrighted materials your products are made from.  One of these is Dacron. Dacron is a chemical compound used in drink and water bottles.  All drink bottles aren’t made from this substance, but most are.  We just switched over to cans and stopped buying items bottled in plastic.  Another thing you want to watch out for from our friends at Koch Industries is anything made out of Cordura.  You can find this as the tough material used to make backpacks and work clothing.  It’s usually found in discount stores and places like Walmart.

Koch Industries is a major manufacturer of formaldehyde, a chemical that the National Cancer Institute has found to cause cancer in humans. Also, in a 2010 draft assessment, the Environmental Protection Agency found the chemical to be a “known carcinogen.” Koch Industries has lobbied aggressively against formaldehyde being called a carcinogen and David Koch has made his way as a member of the advisory board of the National Cancer Institute.  Coincidence?

myfivebest - 4Stuff We Wear And Sleep Under
When it comes to manufacturing stuff, Koch Industries is also getting up next to you.  They are the manufacturers of Lycra (you might know it as Spandex).  They also manufacture Somerelle bedding, Thermolite fabrics (used in cold weather wear), Coolmax fabrics (athletic wear), and more.  Just wear cotton!

In March 1999, Koch Petroleum Group, a Koch Industries subsidiary, pled guilty to charges that it had negligently dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel into wetlands near the Mississippi River from its refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and that it had also illegally dumped a MILLION gallons of high-ammonia wastewater onto the ground and into the Mississippi River. Koch Petroleum paid the Dakota County Park System a $6 million fine and $2 million in remediation costs, and was ordered to serve three years of probation.

myfivebest - 5Home Improvement Products
When it comes to products used in home improvement or building your homes, the Koch Brothers have their hands in it, too. Makes you wonder how the housing boom got so out of hand?  All those expensive homes built, using Koch Industry products, that no one could afford?  They made their money and the people lost their homes.  The products made or manufactured by Koch Industries are: drywall, decking, plywood and plaster.  Builders, if you are wondering what name brands to look for, they are: ToughArmor, Dense Armor, Flexrock, Densglass, G/P Industrial plasters (this is used by a lot of crafters), FiberStrong, Blue Ribbon, Broadspan, and FireDefender.

In 1999, a federal jury found that Koch Industries had stolen oil from government and American Indian lands, had lied about its purchases more than 24,000 times, and was fined $553,504.  Also, in June 2003, the US Commerce Department fined Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hill Resources a $200,000 civil penalty. The fine settled charges that the company exported crude petroleum from the US to Canada without proper US government authorization. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said from July 1997 to March 1999, Koch Petroleum (later called Flint Hill Resources) committed 40 violations of Export Administration Regulations.