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November 19, 2012

Conservation Group to Handle Most of $4-Billion BP Settlement

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a relatively obscure, quasi-governmental conservation group, will receive $2.4-billion of energy giant BP's $4-billion, five-year settlement for its role in the disastrous 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, The Washington Post writes. The foundation's settlement share amounts to more than it has doled out for conservation projects nationwide in its previous 28 years.

The organization, founded in 1984 by Senate Republicans to muster environmental support following federal budget cuts, was chosen by the Justice Department to administer the BP funds. It works with state and federal agencies, scientists, green advocacy groups, and landowners to address threats to fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

The foundation is well respected by mainstream environmental groups and trusted by BP, which had previously given it $22-million in spill-related grants. But some activists and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana questioned putting so much of the settlement in the hands of one entity.