An oil drilling rig burning off natural gas.
June 25, 2013 11:30 AM ET
Since the Gulf oil disaster in 2010, BP has spent
hundreds of millions of ad dollars to cleanse its image as a
dirty-energy giant. In the company's latest TV ad,
wind turbines whirl in the sun as a voiceover touts the number of
American jobs created by BP and promises, "We're working to fuel America
for generations to come." There's just one problem: BP's commitment to
wind energy is virtually nonexistent.
In April, BP announced
that it is selling off its entire $3.1 billion U.S. wind energy
business – including 16 farms spread across nine states – as "part of a
continuing effort to become a more focused oil and gas company,"
according to a company spokesperson. Indeed, though it famously
rebranded itself "Beyond Petroleum" in 2000, BP also exited the solar
energy business back in 2011. Today, its alternative energy investments
are limited to biofuels and a lone wind farm in the Netherlands.
And BP is far from alone. You wouldn't know it from their
advertising, but the world's major oil companies have either entirely
divested from alternative energy or significantly reduced their
investments in favor of doubling down on ever-more risky and destructive
sources of oil and natural gas....