After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Koch foundation donated again to Fraser Institute in 2011, U.S. tax records show

(Page 2 of 2)

The report appeared in a controversial $200,000 "economic freedom" television ad campaign by the Charles G. Koch Foundation this summer. The Fraser Institute's name appears several times in the televised ad, which references the Institute's previous reports. 

screenshot of the Charles G. Koch Foundation ad 

The 60-second ad argues that people have better civil rights, live longer and earn more money when government is small and private wealth is protected. It was launched as a counter-offensive against Obama's efforts to raise minimum wage, according to Forbes magazine.

While the ad was only on the air for four weeks, it was  part of a broader charm offensive that has been ongoing for years. Economic Freedom is like a multi-faceted entity, consisting of academic reports, videos and related websites. The Fraser Institute runs a website called Free the World, referenced in the Charles Koch Foundation's Economic Freedom site. The Fraser Institute's economic freedom report also shows up prominently in a Cato Institute documentary, also co-funded by the Kochs. 

Pelkey said that the Charles G. Koch Foundation "has no influence or input into our research", and that the the money received annually from the Foundation represents less than 1.4 per cent of the Fraser Institute's total revenue. 

Nonetheless, the Fraser Institute has been a proponent of oil sands development and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, both carrying enormous benefits to the Koch brothers who stand to gain from the Keystone XL pipeline, according to a recent report by The International Forum on Globalization. The report says the Keystone XL is vital to the Koch's interests and  claims Koch Industries owns "2 million or more potential acres in Alberta with tar sands exceeding Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips combined."

Graph from "Billionaires' Carbon Bomb" report

The report raises alarms over Keystone XL's carbon impact, and says the Kochs have made "so-far successful efforts to counter-regulation of carbon" as part of their broader agenda to advance an extremist ideology they call 'economic freedom". 

To prove that carbon regulation isn't necessary, the Kochs and other proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline need to convince governments that the environment would be better if industry was more free to regulate itself.  

The Kochs' economic freedom campaign argues this point with supporting data from the Fraser Institute. In its longer video (below), the Fraser Institute's data is used to support the claim that less economically regulated countries take better care of the environment. 

With files from Heather Evens

Screenshot from "Economic Freedom and Quality of Life" video

Graph from Fraser Institute's 2009 Economic Freedom of the World report

Read More:

More in Politics

Gitxsan leaders join BC First Nations to vote for Anyone But Clark (ABC)

Two Gitxsan house groups, Gwininitxw and Luutkudziiwus urge voting that will empower First Nations, support communities, environment, and economic well-being.

B.C. Premier defends Bill 20 amendments

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said Tuesday that a controversial provision in Bill 20 is meant to create “a level playing field” for all the political parties. Her comments come on the heels...

Jacobs and Florida and Gehl oh my! Who really influences our local politicians?

Still undecided about who to vote for? Second guessing yourself? Who really influences and inspires those candidates who are running for a seat in Vancouver's City Hall?
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.