Greenpeace targeted by Exxon-backed group
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
March 21, 2006
Greenpeace was the target of a campaign to challenge its tax-exempt status according to a report in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Public Interest Watch—a group heavily financed by oil giant Exxon Mobil—urged the Internal Revenue Service to audit the environmental organization for “blatant self-dealing” and money laundering. The accusations, first made in September 2003 letter to the IRS, triggered a September 2005 investigation that found the organization still qualified for tax-exempt status.
Exxon Mobil, which has long been a target of Greenpeace protests for its refusal to acknowledge the role of fossil fuel emissions in contributing to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has denied involvement in the affair.
John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA, told The Wall Street Journal, “I believe organizations should be scrutinized and audited, but I just don’t believe you should get targeted because … you’re a critic of Exxon Mobil.”
The article, “Did a Group Financed by Exxon Prompt IRS to Audit Greenpeace?”, appears on the front page of the March 21, 2006 edition of the The Wall Street Journal. It was written by Steve Stecklow.