- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch have declined an invitation - extended in a full-page, color ad in their hometown newspaper - to a public debate on climate change.

The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1ksCvqt ) that Friday’s advertisement in its newspaper was placed by NextGen Climate Action, a group founded by retired billionaire investor Tom Steyer. NextGen claims to be non-partisan and “focused on bringing climate change to the forefront of America’s political dialogue.”

“We are not experts on climate change,” Koch corporate spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia told the Eagle in an email Friday. “We do believe there should be free and open debate on the climate issue and it should be based on sound science and intellectual honesty.”

Responding to that comment, Heather Wong, a spokeswoman for NextGen Climate Action, said in an email: “We’re glad that Koch Industries has acknowledged that they are not experts on climate change. The scientific community has in fact had a free and open debate about climate change and reached an unequivocal conclusion: Our climate is changing and carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels is primarily responsible.”

The political advertisement labeled itself as “An invitation to the Koch brothers,” and juxtaposed photographs of David Koch vs. Steyer side by side.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com