A new documentary premiering in New York City this week details how a chemical plant owned by the Koch brothers poisoned the town of Crossett, Arkansas.
For decades, modern-day robber barons Charles and David Koch have been some of the most visible villains of the free-for-all that is post-Citizens United campaign finance. They have spent billions influencing GOP politicians, spreading right-wing public policy disinformation through a shadowy network of fake nonprofit groups, and even buying judges.
Their perversion of American democracy, however, is only the tip of the iceberg.
Koch Industries, their Wichita-based conglomerate that is involved in everything from oil to fabrics to paper products, has faced decades of congressional investigations, lawsuits, fines, and felony indictments. The company has illegally polluted water in half a dozen states. They have been fined over $400 million in total, for charges ranging from stealing oil from public lands, to bribing foreign governments, to a gruesome accident in which two Texas teenagers were burned alive by a pipeline explosion.
The Koch brothers’ disregard for the law is vividly laid bare in the upcoming documentary “Company Town,” which exposes what a Koch Industries paper and chemical plant did to the town of Crossett, Arkansas.
The documentary is currently selling tickets for its week-long New York City premiere, which will be attended Friday night by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. It follows the investigative work of a local pastor, David Bouie, who exposes the horrific damage to the 5,500-person community:
Pastor Bouie worked at the Kochs’ Georgia-Pacific plant for ten years, and on the street where he lives, 11 out of 15 households lost someone to cancer. He seeks answers and actions to help protect the lives of his neighbors, many of whom have worked their entire lives at the plant, making products like Angel Soft, Brawny Paper Towels, Quilted Northern and Dixie paper cups. He galvanizes the town, revealing untold stories of health and medical crises.
The suffering and injustice perpetrated by the Koch brothers cannot be buried. Over the years, the dark and ruinous underbelly of their operation has been exposed. Now, their crimes will be in theaters for all to see.