BP proves Beyond Petroleum was greenwashing, joins “biggest global warming crime ever seen”

The tar sands are rightly called one of the world’s greatest environmental crimes, as I’ve written. No company that invests in the Canadian tar sands can legitimately call itself green.

Yet BP, the oil company that lavished millions on advertising its move “Beyond Petroleum,” announced this month it’s putting $3 billion into this dirtiest of dirty fuels!


BP is buying a half-share of the ironically named Sunrise field:

BP’s move into oil sands is an opportunity to build a strategic, material position and the huge potential of Sunrise is the ideal entry point for BP into Canadian oil sands,” said Tony Hayward, BP’s group chief executive.

The company ultimately plans to produce 200,000 barrels of oil a day from the field.

Shame on you BP!

Just how bad are the tar sands environmentally? As The Independent explains:

The booming oil sands industry will produce 100 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent to a fifth of the UK’s entire annual emissions) a year by 2012, ensuring that Canada will miss its emission targets under the Kyoto treaty….

The oil rush is also scarring a wilderness landscape: millions of tonnes of plant life and top soil is scooped away in vast open-pit mines and millions of litres of water are diverted from rivers — up to five barrels of water are needed to produce a single barrel of crude and the process requires huge amounts of natural gas.

What does BP have to say about the environment in its press release?

“The result will be the development of a major new Canadian oil field and the modernization and expansion of the Toledo refinery to allow far greater use of Canadian heavy oil and to increase clean fuels production by as much as 600,000 gallons a day.”

Clean fuels?! Do they really think we are that ignorant and gullible?

Mike Hudema, the climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace in Canada, had a more accurate description:

By jumping into tar sands extraction it is taking part in the biggest global warming crime ever seen and BP’s green sheen is gone.

If the tar sands are Beyond Petroleum, then BP should just stick with good old petrol for the sake of the planet and stop its greenwashing ads.

10 Responses to BP proves Beyond Petroleum was greenwashing, joins “biggest global warming crime ever seen”

  1. David says:

    Oh my. How shocking. An oil company is investing in oil extraction. What’s next? A pet store selling pets? Dunkin Donuts selling donuts?

  2. Albert says:

    Snark away, David. When a company spends millions painting itself as forward-looking and trying to go green (with their investments in solar, particularly) it’s still worth pointing out to people when they throw tar in our faces.

  3. jmd says:

    Is that stuff the reason why BP keeps insisting they need to dump more pollution into Lake Michigan from the Whiting, IN refinery?

  4. Joe says:

    The tar sands is not so much oil extraction as carbon-intensive oil production. It may be what typical oil companies do, but BP was claiming to be “Beyond Petroleum” and very GHG-friendly. Not!

  5. David B. Benson says:

    This solar plan looks much better:

  6. Ronald says:

    All the oil companies will be falling in the not to distant future. Oil Peak has maybe hit and the oil companies have no other place to go with the decreases in oil production. It makes it that much more important to have plug-in alternatives.

  7. JCH says:

    What provides the power for plug ins? How soon? In the meantime, from where does the oil to keep the economy moving come? Peak oil isn’t the immediate problem. The immediate problem is easy oil. At 86 billion barrels a year, the easy oil is quickly depleting.

    They invest in tar sands because it’s all that is left. Offshore and tar sands.

  8. JCH
    “What provides the power for plug ins?”

    The DOE says 80% of cars could be plug ins before more base load power was needed. Most PHEVs would be recharged at night when we have an excess of electricity. Plus, with a smart grid we could have vehicle to grid system, using the batteries in cars to balance the grid. As the transition to a cleaner grid is made, it will become increasingly clean to charge vehicles.

    Even if coal is the source of power, it’s still cleaner to plug cars in and run them on electricity. The grid overall is cleaner than coal.

    If all that is left is offshore and tar sands, then we should have been transitioning to clean energy 20 years ago.
    However, the oil companies themselves have been the biggest obstacle to anything green, with their disinformation/propaganda campaign on climate change as well as on energy choices.

    And how can peak oil not be the problem if they only have offshore and tar sands left?

    David must think there is no problem with the environment. He imagines, I guess, that humans can survive after we have caused the collapse of every ecosystem on earth. I’d say we are probably threatening that, even without global warming.
    But hey, who cares what science says right?

  9. Hendo says:

    Just when we were ready to become optomistic here comes BP.

    Happily most of the comments are about the stupidity of tar sand oil.

    I am pulled towards the electric option, and find myself encouraged by thinkers like Richard Mercer.

    The Davids of the world (see post above) are strong. Note that his comment is dated Dec 2007, and despite outrage, tar sand is still proceeding apace.

    Hopefully the 44th President can, amongst his myriad other duties, enable a system where change can happen quickly. We don’t really have time just to talk about things whilst it’s business as usual.

  10. Jim H says:

    I am still amazed to see, that despite over-whelming evidence to the contrary, people are still delusional enough to believe that man is causing a rise in the earths average temerature.

    These same people claiming to be encuraged by “thinkers” like Richard Mercer are the same people who fail to think when facts debunking their religion are presented.

    No evidence any Environmentalist can can despute this one simple fact. All planets in our solar system have heated in pace with the earth, who is causing the warming there.

    Here, from back in 2007 even.

    Not polluting is good, caring for the earth is good because it simply makes good sense, not because the future of this planet depends on it.