Nature Conservancy Goes for the Black Gold

The second part of the Post's examination of a multi-billion dollar tax exempt corporation: "Eight years ago, Mobil Oil gave the Nature Conservancy what was one of the group's largest corporate donations, a patch of prairie that encompassed the last native breeding ground of a highly endangered bird. ... The Conservancy ... started acting like an oil company. The Conservancy sank a well under the bird's nesting ground. Drilling in sensitive areas is opposed as destructive by most environmentalists. But the Conservancy subscribes to an aggressive form of 'compatible development,' a pragmatic approach that seeks to accommodate the needs of business as well as environmentalism. The Conservancy wanted the Texas City Prairie Preserve to be a national model to show that drilling can be accomplished without harming the environment. It would use the drilling profits to buy more habitat for the birds. That's not the way things worked out."