Opinion Columns & Blogs

Pay no attention to who is behind the curtain

At a hearing Tuesday, Senate Utilities Committee Chairman Rob Olson, R-Olathe, would not allow another lawmaker to ask whether Koch Industries funded a study critical of the state’s renewable energy standard. During a hearing Wednesday on a bill to scale back collective bargaining of public-sector employees, Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Julia Lynn, R-Olathe, cut off questioning of the bill’s sponsor about his participation in conferences held by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate lobbying network funded by Koch Industries and other businesses. Meanwhile, Koch Industries declined to provide three Democratic U.S. senators with information on its support of research on global warming and other environmental topics, Associated Press reported this week. The senators raised the issue after learning that a professor at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who disputes the role of fossil fuels in global warming failed to disclose that he received $1.2 million from the fossil-fuel industry over the past decade. – Phillip Brownlee