|May 27, 2010|
|BP Spill Kills 'Greenwashing'|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|British Petroleum’s oil spill will have environmental groups and non-profits thinking twice before offering “greenwash” coverage to Big Oil. Association with one of the world’s biggest oil spills drives that home. |
Nobody wants an oily sheen to a green image.
The Nature Conservancy, which calls itself the biggest green group, is facing the wrath of members upset with its linkage to BP. The energy giant has given $10M in land and cash to the Nature Conservancy and has earned a place on the group’s International Leadership Council, according to the May 24 Washington Post.
Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek blogged that "now is not the time for ranting." But with the worldwide focus on the Gulf, now is precisely the time to rant.
The Sierra Club and Audubon joined with BP Wind Energy to form the American Wind and Wildlife Institute to develop ways to protect wildlife from wind farms. Members of the Audubon must be sickened by the images of white pelicans that have been browned by BP’s oil in the Gulf.
In as incredible bit of bad timing, the Aquarium of the Pacific has just opened its sea otter exhibit, one emblazoned with the BP logo.
The Long Beach, Calif.-based aquarium says it has no qualms about taking the $1M cash from BP because the gift is not at odds with its educational mission, says its president Jerry Schubel.
A BP rep offered to stay away from the grand opening last week. Schubel was asked during a press conference whether it’s kosher to take money from the biggest polluter of the ocean. According to a report on NPR, Schubel said: “Life is filled with ironies.” It's too bad the sea otters don't have any input on the name of their home.
On its website, Shell Oil lists environmental partners such as Earthwatch, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Wetlands International.
ExxonMobil, which was Big Oil’s No. 1 environmental pariah prior to BP’s mess, gave $7M to environmental groups in 2009. The Exxon Valdez spill was but a drop in the bucket compared to what BP has poured into the Gulf.
There are reports that BP's leak has been stopped. The focus is now on environmental and reputation clean-up. Both tasks will take years. Environmental groups will want no part of BP (and its millions) any time soon.
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