Since the death in 1967, of Koch patriarch, Fred Koch,
Charles Koch has governed the private corporation, Koch Industries, influencing the economy and politics of the United States as few individuals have ever done in history.
An early, lucrative investment was the acquisition of the Pine Bend Refinery, a “cash cow” for the Kochs for over 50 years. Conflicts with labor unions and violations of environmental laws marked Koch management of Pine Bend
In Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America (Simon & Schuster, 2019), business journalist, Christopher Leonard, delves deeply into the history of the Koch family and businesses, whose products are foundational to the U.S. economy – from fertilizer for food to energy for transportation, industry and homes, to the fibers we wear and more.
Among its numerous acquisitions over the past 50 years, Georgia-Pacific was one of its biggest, affecting many communities, including Ft. Bragg, CA. The former mill site was bought from Koch Industries by the City of Ft. Bragg. Many are concerned about the toxic residues, including lead, arsenic, dioxin and PCBs.