Craig Grant’s letter (Koch Causes, April 9) is a textbook example of fictitious assertions that have no basis in reality. Where to begin? Koch’s commitment to environmental, health and safety is reflected in the more than 450 awards we have received since President Obama took office. Grant’s notion that we “defund arts and culture” is debunked by the hundreds of millions of dollars we contribute to arts organizations and causes.
On the issue of formaldehyde, Koch companies make and use this compound, which occurs naturally, in some of our manufacturing processes, and we do so in compliance with all laws and regulations. It is also a fact that each of us, including Mr. Grant, produce formaldehyde every day and emit it in every breath we exhale.
Mr. Grant refers to us as a “top ten polluter,” this according to a partisan index created in concert with a radical socialist group that faults virtually every major manufacturer in America today. Further, the so-called “pollution” tracked by the index is emissions that are permitted by law and carefully regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. With a U.S. unemployment rate of more than 8 percent, demonizing lawful companies like Koch that continue to manufacture goods in America is counterproductive at best.
Since Mr. Grant misunderstands, or chooses to misrepresent, what we support, here is the truth. Koch supports causes that advance economic freedom and prosperity. We believe in the Bill of Rights, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government, not “no government,” as Mr. Grant charges. We believe in honesty and in treating others with dignity and respect. To suggest otherwise (as Mr. Grant purports regarding treatment of women, abortion and gay rights) is unequivocally false.
We employ nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. in good-paying jobs, many of those unionized. We have productive relationships with our unions, but don’t take our word for it. Last year, Jon Geenen, international vice president of United Steelworkers, praised Koch for providing “among the best-paid manufacturing jobs in America,” and stating that Koch “in practice and in general has positive and productive … relationships with its unions.”
Fair-minded debate and differing points of view are the foundation of this great nation, but let’s base the discussion on hard facts, not fallacy.