Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hating BP "before it was cool"

Katherine Mangu-Ward gloats a bit here, about an article she wrote in 2006:

For an example of a company apparently trying to single-handedly save the planet through expensive public relations alone, one needn't look farther than the corporate darling of serious environmentalists and greenish consumers alike: BP

BP is first among many companies that have opted to do their environmental penance in the glare of the spotlight. British Petroleum (recently rechristened BP, following KFC's model in removing unsavory words from its brand name) has been much ballyhooed for its commitment to the environment. Most of the ballyhooing is being done by BP itself.

A gas and oil company with $225 billion in revenue, BP is part of an industry that will keep environmental advocacy groups in business for as long at it exists. Yet these days BP is styling itself "Beyond Petroleum" and declaring that it's "thinking outside the barrel." BP's Environmental Team has crafted an elaborate advertising campaign and rebranding effort, recently expanded to the Web. Its goal: to convince the world that a company that sucks dead dinosaurs out of the earth, turns them into gasoline, and delivers that gas to SUVs can also be environmentally friendly enough to use a green and yellow sunburst (or is it a flower?) as its logo....

One might be forgiven for wondering how BP is managing to take in hundreds of billions in oil and gas revenue, apparently in its spare time.

I've never been a big fan of finding scapegoats, but in this case it seems like there was some definite negligence involved. Of course, we'd all like to think this isn't a necessary cost of our need for energy....

No comments: