“For a company that claims to have moved ‘beyond petroleum,’ BP has managed to spill an awful lot of it on to the tundra in Alaska. Last week, after the news was leaked to journalists, it admitted to investors that it is facing criminal charges for allowing 270,000 gallons of crude oil to seep across one of the world’s most sensitive habitats. The incident was so serious that some of its staff could be sent to prison.

“Had this been Exxon, the epitome of sneering corporate brutality, the news would have surprised no one. But BP’s rebranding, like Shell’s, has been so effective that you could be forgiven for believing that it had become an environmental pressure group. These companies have used the vast profits from their petroleum business to create the impression that they are abandoning it.”

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

–Goerge Monbiot, writing in the Guardian, June 13, 2006


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.