Non-Profit 'Watchdog' Well Fed By ExxonMobil

The Wall Street Journal reports that Public Interest Watch (PIW), a non-profit 'watchdog' group which sucessfully lobbied for an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax audit of Greenpeace, has been heavily funded by ExxonMobil. Two years after PIW urged an IRS investigation, Greenpeace was subjected to a three-month long audit. Steve Stecklow reports that PIW's "most recent federal tax filing, covering August 2003 to July 2004, states that $120,000 of the $124,094" came from the oil company. ExxonMobil confirmed that they had funded the group at that time but no longer do. According to Greenpeace USA executive director John Passacantando, the IRS auditor, Charles Walker, told him the investigation was in response to PIW's complaint. In March this year Greenpeace was informed that it retained its tax exempt status. PIW's Executive Director Lewis Fein has refused to disclose any of the groups current funders.