Koch Industries is the biggest leaseholder in Canada’s oil sands, which the Keystone XL pipeline would serve, The Washington Post reported.
Citing data compiled by an activist group that the newspaper confirmed with Alberta provincial records, the Post said a subsidiary of Koch, owned by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, holds leases on 1.1 million acres in the oil sands, the largest chunk of the 35 million lease acres.
The findings are surprising because international oil corporations like Exxon Mobil or Royal Dutch Shell are not the largest leaseholders, the Post said.
But the link between Koch and the planned Keystone XL pipeline is “indirect at best,” the Post said. Oil production from Koch’s leases is small, the company has not reserved space in the new pipeline, and its route is not near Koch refineries.
Still, the findings are likely to anger those who already oppose the pipeline, planned to run from western Canada, through the Western United States to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico coast. Environmentalists predict that potential spills and increased greenhouse gas emissions caused by Keystone XL will harm the environment.
Koch declined to comment on its holdings when contacted by the Post.