BP, the world’s third-largest oil company, announced last night that it will halt all of its political contributions worldwide. The decision appears to reflect a desire to avoid accusations of influence peddling in the era of Enron, and could set a precedent for other companies. It could also be seen as a triumph for anti-globalization activists and other organizations, which BP CEO Sir John Browne said had “intensified scrutiny” on corporate activities. Browne said the company would continue to engage in policy debate, but would not fund any political activity or party. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, BP, which makes about half of its money in the United States, spent $1.1 million on the 2000 U.S. elections, with two-thirds of the total going to Republican candidates. BP was the first major oil company to acknowledge the threat of global warming.
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