Thursday, August 23, 2012

PBS's Big Oil/Foundation Links

A multi-foundation effort to generate support for the PBS NewsHour has resulted in $3.55 million of special funding for the news program, according to MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, which produces the NewsHour. The participants in the initiative are Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation….”

--from a May 30, 2012 press release of the PBS NewsHour

“…Chuck Hagel is…Co-Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board; Chairman of The Atlantic Council; a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board and Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future; and is a member of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) board of directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Chevron Corporation; the Advisory Boards of Deutsche Bank Americas; Corsair Capital; M.I.C. Industries; is a Director of the Zurich Holding Company of America; and is a Senior Advisor to McCarthy Capital Corporation….He co-chairs the PBS National Policy Advisory Committee.”

-- from the Public Broadcasting Service [PBS] website

PBS’s Big Oil/Foundation Links

(Note: The following historical article was written in 2002.)

Some of the profits that San Francisco-based Chevron Texaco has made during the last ten years have gone to PBS's Washington, D.C. outlet, WETA-TV. In 1992, for instance, a foundation grant of over $2.4 million was given to WETA-TV by Chevron to fund PBS¹s National Geographic Specials. That same year Chevron¹s foundation also gave money to the following other ³non-profit² organizations:

Stanford University was given 3 grants, totaling $455,000, by Chevron

University of California-Berkeley was given 2 grants, totaling $217,000 by Chevron

The American Enterprise Institute For Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C. was given a $70,000 grant by Chevron

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. was given a $60,000 grant by Chevron

The National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C. was given a $65,000 grant by Chevron

The NAACP in New York City was given a $55,000 grant by Chevron

Among the ³non-profit² organizations who received foundation grants from Chevron two years later, in 1994, were the following:

San Francisco¹s KQED/Channel 2, which was given a $152,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The San Francisco Opera Association, which was given an $86,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The African American Institute in New York City, which was given a $90,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, which was given another $70,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

Stanford University, which given 4 grants, totalling $495,000, by Chevron¹ s foundation

University of California at Berkeley, which was given a $342,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The Hoover Institute On War, Peace and Revolution in Stanford, California, which was given a $120,000 grant by Chevron¹s foundation

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in D.C., which was given another $100,000 in tax-exempt money by Chevron¹s foundation.

Although the assets of Chevron¹s foundation exceeded $34.3 million in 1995, it only gave $21.7 million away during that same year‹despite the fact that Chevron made a $930 million profit.

ChevronTexaco¹s foundation is not the only foundation that gets its grant distribution money from a business involvement in the oil industry. The MacArthur Foundation¹s $2 billion-plus corporate stock portfolio included at least $31 million in oil company stock a few years ago. The Sister Fund¹s assets are derived from Hunt Oil, a firm which sometimes competes with Chevron in the marketing of Middle East and African oil. And, as long ago as 1973, The American Oil Industry: A Failure of Anti-Trust Policy pointed out the following about the relation between large U.S. foundations and the oil industry:

"Some of the largest foundations in the country have been established with oil money. A foundation can be both a means of retaining control and seeking favorable tax treatment.

"Of the first 30 largest foundations in the United States in asset rank, seven have major holdings in oil company stocks and are associated with oil company founders. The three largest in terms of the market value of assets are the Rockefeller Foundation with $831 million, the Mellon Foundation with some $668 million and the Pew Memorial Trust with $367 million in 1971.

"An examination of these foundation assets reveals a known truth: that the Rockefeller and Mellon families are the sources of great wealth deriving from the oil industry. If the assets of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund are added together they total approximately $1 billion. Similarly, if the assets of the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the Scaife (Sarah Mellon) Foundation are combined, they too total in the neighborhood of $1 billion.”

In 1972, when Chevron went under the name of Standard Oil of California, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund owned $8.9 million worth of stock in this company; and the Commonwealth Fund owned $11.1 million worth of Standard Oil of California/Chevron stock. The president and CEO of the WETA-TV station which received $2.4 million from Chevron in 1992 was PBS Director Sharon Rockefeller.

(conclusion of 2002-written historical article)

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