Koch Brothers Duck Billionaire’s Debate Invitation: ‘We Are Not Experts On Climate Change’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s attempt to lure Charles and David Koch out of the shadows appears to have fallen short.

Steyer had challenged the conservative benefactors to a public debate on climate change. But the brothers aren’t interested.

“We are not experts on climate change,” Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia in told the Wichita Eagle in an e-mail on Friday afternoon. “We do believe there should be free and open debate on the climate issue and it should be based on sound science and intellectual honesty.”

“The debate should take place among the scientific community, examining all points of view and void of politics, personal attacks and partisan agendas,” she added.

Steyer has designs on a $100 million campaign this year targeting climate change skeptics and the Keystone XL pipeline, but he has rejected comparisons to the Kochs.

He took out an advertisement on Friday in the Wichita Eagle, the Koch brothers’ hometown newspaper, challenging them to a debate.

The Koch brothers have always been shrouded in secrecy, their labyrinth of shadowy organizations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars benefiting candidates who deny basic science and push legislation that enables climate change,” the advertisement read. “Charles Koch has already mourned the oppression of ‘free and open debate.’ Here’s his chance to do something about it.”

Steyer first challenged the brothers to a debate during an appearance last month on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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