‘Conservation Group’ Quoted In NYT Frontpager On Oil Spill Has Ties To Transocean

May 4, 2010 11:15 a.m.

A “conservation group” that struck a markedly optimistic tone in a front-page New York Times piece on the Gulf Coast oil spill is made up largely of oil industry executives, and its most recent board meeting was hosted by Transocean, the owner of the rig that exploded, ProPublica reports.

Quenton Dokken, the executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, told the Times, in a story headlined “Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad?”: “The sky is not falling. We’ve certainly stepped in a hole and we’re going to have to work ourselves out of it, but it isn’t the end of the Gulf of Mexico.”The piece describes the Gulf of Mexico Foundation as a “conservation group.” But ProPublica reports, the group is no Sierra Club:

At least half of the 19 members of the group’s board of directors [4] have direct ties to the offshore drilling industry. One of them is currently an executive at Transocean, the company that owns the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded last month, causing millions of gallons of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

Seven other board members are currently employed at oil companies, or at companies that provide products and services “primarily” to the offshore oil and gas industry. Those companies include Shell, Conoco Phillips, LLOG Exploration Company, Devon Energy, Anadarko Petroleum Company and Oceaneering International.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Fire In The Gulf: New Pictures Of The Deepwater Horizon]

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