Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hitting the lottery

Here's some interesting news I missed yesterday. From the Washington Post, BP settlement a boon to conservation group

Over the next five years, BP will give the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation nearly $2.4 billion as part of the $4 billion settlement with the Justice Department announced Thursday stemming from BP’s disastrous 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The who now? Note that this is not the Fish and Wildlife Service but a similarly named non-profit which oversees environmental grants and contracts totaling $75 million to $100 million a year. So why did the settlement money go to, 'the most important conservation group no one’s ever heard of.'? Well, according to Kert Davies, research director for Greenpeace U.S., while the group has done helpful restoration work, it also appears to be “a safe place for corporations to give their money because they’re not going to criticize corporations.

The foundation — created in 1984 by Senate Republicans seeking new ways to muster conservation funding in the face of Reagan administration budget cuts — is not an environmental advocacy organization. It receives an annual appropriation of about $15 million from the government, along with other federal grants totaling as much as $45 million, and solicits donations of about $16 million a year from private donors and corporations including Wal-Mart, Shell, Southern Co. and the American Petroleum Institute.

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