Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

BP: Does the Emperor Really Have New Clothes?

Sigh. I should have known it was probably too good to be true. For the last few years, I've been praising oil giant British Petroleum's many environmental initiatives, and suggesting to my friends that BP, or Venezuelan-sourced Citgo, are better choices for gas purchasing than, say, Exxon-Mobil or Chevron-Texaco.

But now, I'm not so sure. Investigative reporter Greg Palast, who's broken some of the top stories of the last decade, including the scrubbing of thousands of black (and likely Democratic) voters from the Florida voter rolls prior to the 2000 election, accuses BP of dastardly deeds, including
  • Ignoring a well-reported corrosion problem in Alaska until fixing it could be timed to include a shutdown of critical facilities during the summer heat season and an Enron-style squeeze of customers and price-jacking.
  • Engaging in a pattern of intimidation and retribution against internal critics, whether or not they go public
  • Failing to clean up the Exxon Valdez spill for which they had taken responsibility

  • Of course I haven't verified these accusations--but Palast has a very good track record. Fortunately, there are a couple of Citgo stations near me.


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