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Resource ID: #26455
The specific focus of this series was the International Conservation Caucus Foundation and the lawmakers, polluting corporations, and environmental groups who benefit from it. The political genius of the foundation is that it has allowed ICCF member companies such as ExxonMobil to greenwash their reputations by funding ICCF member nonprofits, such as the Nature Conservancy. Meanwhile, corporate and nonprofit contributions to the foundation paid for "educational" lunches, dinners, galas and junkets, giving foundation members access to grateful members of Congress. These events -- and the foundation itself -- make a conscious effort to avoid discussing politically contentious topics like climate change, arguably the biggest conservation challenge of our time. The ICCF, which was founded by the former lobbyist of a Nigerian dictator who ordered the execution of nine nonviolent environmental protesters, is certainly notable in its own right. But what makes this series more important than a simple expose about a deeply conflicted foundation is that the ICCF is just one of many congressionally affiliated nonprofits that have popped up in part to skirt lobbying reforms instituted after the Jack Abramoff scandal. The most shocking thing about the ICCF and its ilk, according to government transparency advocates, is that most of what they are doing appears to be completely legal.