“Beyond Petroleum?” or “British Polluter”?

by Alexis Sadoti

May 20, 2010

Its been a month since the BP oil disaster in the Gulf and over 6 million gallons of oil has already spilled and is showing no sign of letting up. A WHOLE MONTH has gone by and the situation only seems to be getting worse! And yet BP is rebranding themselves as beyond petroleum claiming that it sums up their brand as a company that is moving towards a lower carbon future?

On BPs website they claim that they are a company that is exploring, developing and producing more fossil fuel resources to meet growing demand. But how exactly can you develop and produce more fossil fuels when its not a renewable resource and is made from the organic remnants of prehistoric life. BP claims they are trying to meet the challenges of our time in a sustainable way, but our resources are being depleted fast and once theyre gone, theyre gone

So I guess when BP says they are exploring, developing and producing more fossil fuel, they actually mean they are about to make a decision on whether to invest billions of dollars into the Canadian tar sands – the dirtiest oil currently being produced. The tar sands of Canada are roughly the size of Belgium and are currently the biggest industrial development and opencast mining operation on the face of the Earth. They are natural deposits of heavy oil mixed with clay and sand that lay beneath the wilderness of Canada for which the only access is clearcutting the Boreal Forest. To produce one barrel of oil, two tons of land must be unearthed and when the pits are producing 1.82 million barrels a day, habitats are destroyed and many species are being driven to the brink of extinction. Sounds sustainable, right?

If they are supposedly trying to use more sustainable approaches, is there any rational reason as to why they would choose to invest in the tar sands which produce about three times the emissions per barrel of oil than you would get from normal crude? The projections of oil in the tar sands will create enough carbon emmissions by the end of the century to raise the global temperature by six degrees. As I said before; sounds sustainable, right?

Greenpeace agrees. This morning our climbers scaled the corporate headquarters of BP in London to give them their own rebranding makeover that better suits their dirty business. BP, now aptly known as British Polluters for their investment in the dirtiest oil on the planet, needs something else than a nice shiny green flower as their brand identity.

Take action today and tell Congress that its time that we end our addiction to fossil fuels. Its time to invest more in sustainable energy unless we are prepared for more loss of life, more ecological catastrophe, and more economic ruin.



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