Greenwashing Koch Industries

"Flanked by 'Survivor' champions Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca and two Washington Redskins cheerleaders, a leading D.C. environmentalist took time on Earth Day to thank Wichita-based Koch Industries," reports Alan Bjerga. Doug Siglin, head of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Anacostia River Initiative, praised Koch for helping pick trash out of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. But while Koch colleagues heaped praise on the company, critics wondered whether the event wasn't designed to clean up Koch's image as much as the river. "You hate to sound cynical when someone's doing something good," said Brandon deMelle, an analyst with th Environmental Working Group. "But given Koch's history, you have to wonder." Koch's track record on the environment includes the largest pollution penalty ever assessed by the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as lawsuits over groundwater pollution in Minnesota, escaping benzene gas in Texas and oil leaks in six states.