The good news: some companies are moving toward nontoxic chemicals and products. The bad news: many aren’t. In a 2007 report, consultants hired by Big Chemical concluded that the industry’s eco-initiatives are “reactive, not proactive,” and that it “has a very short-term focus and discounts long-term issues.” There is, wrote the consultants, “a lack of product responsibility in the industry, with most product stewardship efforts seen as minimal and ineffective.” At the 50 largest chemical companies, funding for research and development of new compounds has actually been declining since 2000. Some companies treat the green movement as a phase that will blow over; greenwashing is rampant in the industry, and change is effected mainly through regulation and lawsuits. But with oil hovering near $100 a barrel, green chemistry may get a big push forward. Notes Neil Hawkins of Dow Chemical, “The notion that petrochemicals are cheap or inexpensive, that’s a transient notion.”