The uber right-wing billionaire Koch brothers, owners of the U.S.'s largest private company, are some of the country's most influential Tea Party supporters, climate change deniers and anti-union activists.

Now Canadian oil is on the cusp of adding to their empire.

Already the largest foreign leaseholder in Alberta’s controversial oilsands, a Koch Industries subsidiary has filed an application to start development on the Dunkirk commercial scale oil project.

Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC, on behalf of Koch Canada Exploration submitted an application late last month for development to the Alberta Energy Regulator, and has also filed terms of reference for an environmental impact assessment to Alberta Environmental and Sustainable Resource Development.

The project, which is expected to produce some 60,000 barrels of oil per day, is located on the traditional territory of the Fort McKay First Nations, some 76 kilometres west of the oilsands hub of Fort McMurray.

In documents filed with the regulator, the company forecasts construction will begin in 2016, with production estimated to start in 2018.

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  • Photo courtesy <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/awksed/11589311265/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Mark O'Henly/Flickr</a>

  • NEXT ----> Some of the most unbelievable pictures from the oilsands

  • Syncrude's Mildred Lake Upgrader, part of The Syncrude Project complex for oil sands processing, is pictured Monday, March 8, 2006 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

  • The Syncrude oil sands extraction facility is reflected in a lake reclaimed from an old mine near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada on October 22, 2009.

  • A disused mining machine on display in front of the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta on October 22, 2009.

  • Tailings pond in winter.

  • Syncrude upgrader.

  • Dry tailings.

  • The Suncor oilsands operation uses trucks that are 3 stories tall, weigh one million pounds, and cost 7 million dollars each.

  • Oilsands at night.

  • A tailings pond.

  • Black Cliff in the Alberta oilsands.

  • Oilsands upgrader in winter.

  • Oilsands extraction.

  • Oil sits on the surface at a Suncor Energy Inc. oilsands mining operation near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. Photographer:

  • A large oil refinery along the Athabasca River in Alberta's Oilsands. Fort McMurray, Alberta.

  • Oil mixes with water at a tailings pond at a Suncor Energy Inc. oilsands mining operation near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.

  • Fort McMurray is in the heart of the world's biggest single oil deposit - the Athabasca Oil Sands, and the oil is extracted by surface mining and refined in the region. The oil production is at the heart of the economy.

  • In this Aug. 5, 2005 file photo, the Syncrude upgrader spreads out towards the horizon at the company's oil sands project in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

  • This Tuesday, July 10, 2012 aerial photo shows a Nexen oil sands facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

  • This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows an oilsands facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada.

  • This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows an oilsands tailings pond at a mine facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada.

  • This Sept. 19, 2011 aerial photo shows an oilsands tailings pond at a mine facility near Fort McMurray, in Alberta, Canada.

  • The Syncrude extraction facility in the northern Alberta oil sand fields is reflected in the pool of water being recycled for re-use.

  • A night view of the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada on October 22, 2009.

  • Aerial view of a lake and forests in the vicinity of oil sands extraction facilities near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada on October 23, 2009.

  • Workers use heavy machinery in the tailings pond at the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta , Canada on October 25, 2009.

  • Fort McMurray is in the heart of the world's biggest single oil deposit - the Athabasca Oil Sands, and the oil is extracted by surface mining and refined in the region. The oil production is at the heart of the economy.

  • A large oil refinery in Alberta's Oilsands project. Fort McMurray, Alberta.

  • Next: Alberta Oil Spills

  • CFB Cold Lake, CNRL

    A bitumen leak was reported at a Canadian Natural Resources oilsands operation in the weapons range part of the RCAF base in June 2013.

  • CFB Cold Lake, CNRL

    Company officials said the leak - at what it calls its Primrose operation - was caused by faulty machinery at one of the wells, affected an area of approximately 13.5 hectares and released as much as 3,200 litres of bitumen each day.

  • CFB Cold Lake, CNRL

    Preliminary tallies put the death toll from the leak at 16 birds, seven small mammals and 38 amphibians. Dozen were rescued and taken to an Edmonton centre for rehabilitation.

  • CFB Cold Lake

    As of early August 2013, more than 1.1 million litres of bitumen had been pulled from marshlands, bushes and waterways.

  • CFB Cold Lake, CNRL

    Although CNRL could not say when the leak may finally be stopped, it estimates it will likely cost more than $40 million to clean up.

  • <em>Click through for other recent spill in Alberta</em>

  • Plains Midstream

    Little Buffalo band member Melina Laboucan-Massimo scoops up July 13, 2012 what appears to oil from the pond shoreline near the site of a 4.5 million-litre Plains Midstream pipeline leak detected April 29, 2011. Photos taken at the site and released by Greenpeace of Alberta's second-worst pipeline spill suggest at least part of the site remains heavily contaminated despite company suggestions that the cleanup is complete.

  • Plains Midstream Canada

    A boat passes by a boom stretching out to contain a pipeline leak on the Gleniffer reservoir near Innisfail, Alta., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Plains Midstream Canada says one of their non-functioning pipelines leaked between 1,000-3,000 barrels of sour crude near Sundre, Alberta, on June 7 and flowed downstream in the Red Deer river to the reservoir.

  • Plains Midstream Canada

    Debris pushes up against a boom as it stretches out to contain a pipeline leak on the Gleniffer reservoir near Innisfail, Alta., Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

  • Plains Midstream Canada

    A boom stretches out to contain a pipeline leak on the Gleniffer reservoir near Innisfail, Alta., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Plains Midstream Canada says one of their non-functioning pipelines leaked between 1,000-3,000 barrels of sour crude near Sundre, Alberta, on June 7 and flowed downstream in the Red Deer river to the reservoir.

  • Plains Midstream

    A boom stretches out to contain a pipeline leak on the Gleniffer reservoir near Innisfail, Alta., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Plains Midstream Canada says one of their non-functioning pipelines leaked between 1,000-3,000 barrels of sour crude near Sundre, Alberta, on June 7 and flowed downstream in the Red Deer river to the reservoir.

  • Plains Midstream Canada

    A photographer snaps a boom stretching out to contain a pipeline leak on the Gleniffer reservoir near Innisfail, Alta., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Plains Midstream Canada says one of their non-functioning pipelines leaked between 1,000-3,000 barrels of sour crude near Sundre, Alberta, on June 7 and flowed downstream in the Red Deer river to the reservoir.

  • Plains Midstream Canada

    A boom stretches out to contain a pipeline leak on the Gleniffer reservoir near Innisfail, Alta., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Plains Midstream Canada says one of their non-functioning pipelines leaked between 1,000-3,000 barrels of sour crude near Sundre, Alberta, on June 7 and flowed downstream in the Red Deer river to the reservoir.

The company has been in active communication with the Fort McKay community about its development plans for at least the past year, said Daniel Stuckless, the environment and regulatory manager at the Fort McKay Sustainability Department. It has also offered financial support in return for its use of the First Nations lands through the drilling and exploration phase.

"I think they're certainly doing their homework, so they're prepared [and] they do have a strong partnership with the community," he said.

Fort McKay, a community of 800, is far along the path to economic development, with 70 per cent of its traditional territory already leased to various developers and the unemployment rate sitting below the national average.

Still, the local bands are concerned about the impact of development on the ground water, wildlife and land as well as the effect on aboriginal and treaty rights.

These concerns are "all pretty common no matter what the project is now, given the amount of development up here."

Charles and David Koch and their companies already hold leases on a tract of oilsands land nearly equivalent to the size of P.E.I. But the Dunkirk project would be their first development in the area.

The Kochs have been vocal in their support of the Keystone XL pipeline that would move oilsands crude through the U.S.

A report by one left-leaning think tank found the Kochs could reap some $100 billion in profits if Keystone is approved. The report also estimates that the brothers have given about $50 million to think tanks and members of Congress who support the contentious pipeline.

The Kochs, whose combined net worth is estimated at more than $100 billion, are highly influential in Washington. Their efforts include founding the political lobby group Americans for Prosperity, which fought Obamacare and opposes climate initiatives.

They are also supporters of Canada’s conservative Fraser Institute, which has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the wealthy duo.

The Metis Nation of Alberta noted in a response that it is concerned about the impact of the Dunkirk project on a nearby caribou population.

Bev New, president of the Metis Nation of Alberta Region V, said her people had not been informed of the project, adding that they would like to see more information on the effects on herd migration of caribou in the region.

“We have spotted caribou in our last year activities near the area of the proposed Dunkirk project,” she wrote.