What do the Koch brothers and Halliburton have in common? Well, a lot of things, but most recently both are dolling out mega bucks to the lobbying firm Shockey Scofield Solutions (S3) to fight environmental regulations. The Kochs hired S3’s Mike Ference, a former aide to both Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), to lobby against the carbon tax. The tax gets kudos from conservative economists and most Americans because it’s a common sense way to reduce air pollution and the federal deficit. But the idea hits the heart of Koch Industries sprawling empire – the energy (aka fossilized carbon) industry. So Americans for Prosperity, a Koch front group, is fighting the tax at the “grass roots,” while Kochs’ S3 lobbyists push Congress to pass a resolution opposing the whole idea.
Meanwhile, Halliburton has hired Mike Ference and S3 to protect its many interests, including the “Halliburton loophole” that exempts fracking from the regulations of the Safe Water Drinking Act. It’s amazing what can happen inside the bubble of Washington politics when the “revolving door” connecting lobbyists to legislators counts more than safe drinking water or the planet’s health. It doesn’t have to be that way.