Stanford and U.C. Berkeley criticized for partnerships with Big Oil

Movie producer Steve Bing has yanked a promised $2.5 million donation to Stanford University in response to several TV and print ads wherein ExxonMobil touts its partnership with the school. Exxon is funding up to $100 million of Stanford’s climate and energy research; Bing, whose family has given millions to his alma mater, is unimpressed. “ExxonMobil is trying to greenwash itself, and it’s using Stanford as its brush,” says Bing’s spokesperson. In light of the Bing thing, concerns have risen about academic integrity in a just-announced 10-year, $500 million deal between BP and U.C. Berkeley, which would create an energy institute focusing on creation of genetically modified crops for biofuels. Asks one associate professor, “If we signed the agreement, can anyone seriously imagine that Berkeley would be in a position to undertake significant research to show the problems with the BP strategy?” Uh, problems with BP strategies? As if.