The destruction and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s 10th year is among us and of course the clean up and the unethical treatment of the residents are resurfacing. A research group took a look back at the companies that were involved with cleanup and other services issued a report that is raising eyebrows yet again. Koch Brothers seems to be the name of the day and the fact that they contributed to the destruction of millions of acres of marshland in New Orleans. All we can say is C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me….Dolla Dollabill Y’all!!)
Read More as reported by Daily KOS:
The Democratic opposition research group American Bridge Project issued a new report Thursday on the Koch brothers and Hurricane Katrina. It examines how the company “both contributed to the damages and took advantage of the situation to increase their profits.”
The report looks at:
- The Kochs’ destruction of the wetlands that compounded Katrina’s harmful effects.
- The federal class-action lawsuit against Koch Pipeline Co.
- Charges that Koch subsidiaries including Flint Hills and Georgia-Pacific used Katrina’s aftermath as an opportunity to expand profits.
- The Koch brothers’ opposition to and lobbying efforts against the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act in 2014.
Among the most damning parts of the report details the damage Koch Pipelines, along with other oil and gas companies, caused by constructing pipelines that destroyed wetlands south of New Orleans which exacerbated the damage done when Katrina hit. Its research shows that the Kochs and other companies were “partly responsible for the destruction of 1 million acres of marshlands and also for millions more acres of dying marshland.” The destruction of the marshlands eliminated New Orleans’ “natural protection against hurricane winds and storm surges,” according to a federal, class action lawsuit. The case was later dismissed because a judge deemed it too “ambitious,” though he recognized that “coastal erosion is a serious problem in south Louisiana,” and suggested the plaintiffs find a more narrow route to sue again.
Nine years later, the Kochs and their political arm Americans for Prosperity fought hard to try to oust longtime residents in the area by making flood insurance unaffordable. They strenuously opposed then-Sen. Mary Landrieu’s flood insurance reform legislation intended to reverse large premium spikes for homeowners in the flood zone and areas newly designated by FEMA as flood prone. A federal law passed in 2012 shifted the burden of flood insurance from the taxpayer to the homeowner, but it also resulted in skyrocketing premiums for many of the longtime homeowners in the area, including those who had intentionally built outside of high-risk zones and were paying low premiums. Prior to the law, their rates would have been grandfathered in if their area was rezoned as higher risk, but the 2012 law ended that. Landrieu was attempting to change that with her 2014 legislation, which AFP fought tooth and nail as part of their effort to defeat her re-election. They ultimately failed in blocking the legislation, though they did succeed in seeing Landrieu voted out.
Meanwhile, the report points out, the Kochs’ “PR machine” is in full gear, with the Kochs sponsoring all kinds of 10th anniversary events, “using their positive PR effort to distract from their business practices and response ten years ago,” once again using “Hurricane Katrina to their own benefit.”
Source: Daily KOS