However they capitalize it, BP is the winner of our nearly-weekly “Greenwash of the Week” award.
1. Because they put a revolting ad in my local paper today explaining that thanks to to BP we can all look forward to solving global warming by using hydrogen.
2. Because their entire brand identity is based on trying to convince people that burning fossil fuels is somehow the best thing we can do for the environment.
No, really, their ad guy says so.
Anyhow, a while back BP partnered with Rio Tinto (a giant mining company which, surprise surprise, has a history , er long history, er very long history of doing terrible things) to form a new company: Hydrogen Energy.
Well, that isn’t so bad? Maybe they just want to get a head start and beat their competition at providing clean renewable energy for everyone and a super low cost.
But if you even ever-so-gently scratch the surface of their marketing campaign you’ll see they’re just up to the same old same old: burning fossil fuels, causing global warming, abusing human rights, and making us all pay for it.
How do I know? Well, I took a minute and read their proposals.
I’ll spare you all the stupid and boring details, but here’s the gist as far as I can tell:
They want to keep mining coal, burn it, pollute, emit greenhouse gasses and then use the byproducts of that process to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen then gets used as an energy storage medium.
And the CO2?
Their brilliant plan is to bury it under the city of LA. Yeah, toxic compressed CO2 buried underground in Southern California. What could go wrong?
More importantly, the proposal to spend $2 billion on a power plant that would power “up to” 325,000 homes (their number–ingest grains of salt here) does NOTHING to reduce carbon emissions.
Even giving them all the benefit of the doubt in the world (which BP certainly has earned) it is so important to notice that their plan is to KEEP ON BURNING COAL for power. Only after the bulk of the damage is done do they propose that we get a little tiny bit more electricity at a huge cost while using dubious means to contain the pollution.
I’m pretty sure BP is going to win this title a number of times, but we’ve gotta start somewhere. Congrats BP, you made the Greewash of the Week.