WASHINGTON (AP) — The industrial conglomerate run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch is refusing to provide Democratic lawmakers with information on whether it has paid for climate change research.

Last month, three Democratic senators sent 100 letters to an assortment of fossil fuel companies and organizations seeking information on whether they have backed research into global warming and other environmental topics.

Koch Industries Inc., which includes refining, chemical and pipeline companies, was among the recipients.

But in a March 5 letter obtained by The Associated Press, Mark V. Holden, Koch’s general counsel, writes that such information treads on First Amendment rights, which allow Koch to participate in debate of public policy issues.

The brothers have donated heavily to conservative causes and candidates while criticizing efforts to combat global warming.

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