This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Koch brothers come out of Kansas. (Like me.) They are fans of Wichita State University basketball. (Like me.) They've got strong Utah connections (Like me.) They are rich beyond anyone's wildest dreams. (Hmmm.)

Propaganda can be obvious, whatever the source — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune

" ...Wednesday's Tribune included an op-ed submitted by two scholars from a Logan-based think tank called Strata, an unofficial spin-off from the economics faculty at Utah State University.

"The gist of it: Taxpayer subsidies to alternative energy companies, those that sell solar or wind generating systems or power therefrom, are bad. They are bad because those operations gain an unfair advantage in what should be a pure free-market competition against poor little Rocky Mountain Power and its much cheaper source of electricity — mostly coal.

"The online response to it: The Tribune is bad. It is bad because we ran the piece, by USU Professor Ryan Yonk and student researcher Josh Smith, or because we published it without informing readers that Strata is a creature of the evil Koch brothers. ..."

Who's pulling the strings? — Paul Rolly | The Salt Lake Tribune

"An op-ed piece in Wednesday's Tribune by Ryan M. Yonk and Josh Smith attacked premises made by a renewable-energy advocate, but failed to mention the authors' ties to the billionaire Koch brothers, the petrochemical giants who spend millions to fight green-based energy programs and to elect candidates who favor their causes.

"Yonk is described as an assistant research professor in economics at Utah State University and executive director of academics at Strata, a public policy think tank in Logan. Smith is a student research associate at Strata.

"Strata was in the news recently as one of the companies hired by the Utah Legislature to promote the state's efforts to wrest control of 31 million acres of public land from the federal government. The Legislature is committing up to $14 million of taxpayer money for that effort. ..."

Spreading the Free-Market Gospel: What's new and interesting about the Koch brothers' approach to funding academics — David Levinthal | The Atlantic

"Last year, a staffer for Charles and David Koch's network of philanthropic institutions laid out the billionaire brothers' strategy to spread their views on economic freedom.

"Political success, Kevin Gentry told a crowd of elite supporters attending the annual Koch meeting in Dana Point, California, begins with reaching young minds in college lecture halls, thereby preparing bright, libertarian-leaning students to one day occupy the halls of political power. ..."

The goals of the Bundys and the Koch brothers coincide — it's all about acquiring public lands and exploiting them

" ... No one is saying that the Bundys have been coordinating the seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge with the Koch brothers, but their anti-federal-power-over-land strivings do coincide. Once again, religion is effectively serving mammon and the financially mighty, deploying as foot soldiers the less wealthy, if well-armed, dupes of faith, including Ammon Bundy. ..."

Why the Government Owns So Much Land in the West — Quoctrung Bui and Margot Sanger-Katz | The Upshot | The New York Times

" ... The history of federal land ownership has been largely one of divestiture and public use, not acquisition. As the United States expanded across the continent, it did so by purchasing or taking the land that became new states.

"Over time, it transferred land to state governments and individuals, largely through homesteading and land grants, which allowed farmers to procure parcels of land for agricultural use. The government also tended to allow free use of unclaimed lands by ranchers and others, though there were skirmishes over the years when settlers tried to fence in public land or claimed land in Indian territories.

"That strategy worked well in the Midwest, where very little land remains in federal hands. East of the Mississippi, for example, the federal government owns only 4 percent of land.

"But in the 11 states in the West (including New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, and not counting Alaska), a combination of geography and politics slowed things down ..."