Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday accused the Koch brothers of being significant contributors to climate change, after an Obama administration report said that climate change would cause drastic weather and health impacts on the entire country.
"These billionaire oil tycoons certainly … have contributed to climate change. That's what they do very well," Reid said of Charles and David Koch on the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says the Koch brothers are one of the biggest contributors to climate change. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
"They are one of the main causes of this, not a cause, one of the main causes," Reid said.
Reid cited a University of Massachusetts at Amherst study that ranked Koch Industries as one of the biggest air and water polluters. That study said the company is responsible for 31 million pounds of toxic air being launched into the atmosphere in a single year, which Reid said is more than Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil and General Electric combined.
"They are the champions," Reid said. "Charles and David Koch are waging a war against anything that protects the environment. Now, I know that sounds absurd, but it's true."
Reid also praised the Obama administration's National Climate Estimate, released Tuesday, which predicted more extreme storms in the Northeast, hurricanes in the South, drought in the Midwest and Southwest, and other drastic effects of climate change around the rest of the country.
Reid endorsed the report as another warning that Republicans in Washington are choosing to ignore.
"How can you deny what's going on?" he asked. "Look at the storms."
Democrats have continued to push a climate agenda in Washington, which Republicans have generally ignored as one that calls for policy solutions that would hurt job creation.
Reid has been hammering the Koch brothers all year, starting around the same time that polling outfits said Republicans have a good chance of recapturing the Senate in the November midterms. In past weeks, Reid has accused the Kochs of trying to "buy" the Senate for Republicans.