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Fact Checkers Back Kochs Over Liberal Adversaries

By Newsmax Wires   |   Monday, 14 May 2012 02:44 PM

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog and non-partisan FactCheck.org say liberal critics who have labeled billionaire GOP patrons David and Charles Koch as “Big Oil” are wrong, Politico reports.

It’s inaccurate to call the brothers’ company, Koch Industries, Big Oil because its operations go far beyond refining and other oil-based operations, the fact checkers say. And Koch is much smaller than the oil behemoths such as ExxonMobil in any case.

“Even if all of Koch Industries’ revenues came from its refining business — which they do not — they would still be a fraction of the revenues of the companies that actually represent ‘Big Oil,’” the FactCheck.org report said.

It cited an estimate from Forbes that privately-held Koch garnered revenue of about $100 billion last year, compared to $434 billion for ExxonMobil.

Not surprisingly, the liberal critics are unbowed by the fact checkers. The critics say the key issue is that Koch Industries’ KochPAC has made $514,204 in campaign contributions so far this year, more than twice ExxonMobil’s total. And that doesn’t include think tanks and other entities the Kochs finance to spread their free market message.

Robert Greenwald, producer and director of the documentary “Koch Brothers Exposed” asked Politico, “$100 billion is small? Where do we draw the line? Do we say that if you’re less than $150 billion, you don’t qualify as Big Oil?”

The problem is that the term Big Oil is used as an insult and is false in this case, a Koch Industries representative told the news service.

“I think when people think about Big Oil, they think about big, integrated oil companies,” those that produce, transport, refine, and distribute oil products, the representative said. “We are very proud of our involvement in the oil industry, but to characterize us as Big Oil is just not accurate.”

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