Beyond Petroleum (BP), among some other stellar organizations, has been nominated by the Indigenous Environmental Network to receive the 2011 Public Eye’s Worst Company of the Year Award.
Public Eye, a group of NGOs from around the world, has been holding platforms for the worst and best in social responsibility since 2000, as a counter-event to the World Economic Forum. At the annual World Economic Forum this year, Public Eye reminded the corporate world that their actions have consequences on both people and the environment and spotlighted BP as the worst offender.
Deepwater Horizon, one of the largest oil disasters in the world, happened when BP rig drilling in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and leaked some 800 million liters of oil into the sea that will take its toll the region for decades to come.
In Alaska, BP discovered Prudhoe Bay in the 1950’s and made it one of the main sources of oil supplying the United States ever since. With it came thousands of oils spills leaking from pipelines and drill pads on Alaska’s North Slope as they continued expansion into fragile habitats with aggressive moves like the National Petroleum Reserve that’s behind a lobby campaign to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to big oil.
BP also owns part of the TransAlaska Pipeline. In May 2010 several thousand barrels of crude oil spilled into the ecosystem. BP had discovered severe corrosion and spills from oil transit lines four years before, but had phased out a shutdown. People living there are now burdened with worry about health, cancer clusters, increasing asthma exacerbations and accumulating effects of exposure to pollutants, including carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
Now BP is joining global oil companies moving into the tar sands in the northern Canadian forests to extract the oil there. Their work there is being called out for violations of human rights to Indigenous peoples, health of the environment, risks to the water and loss of boreal forests that help balance climate change.
BP announced its $1.6 million investments in tar sands mining in December 2010, after having been the only international oil company not investing there before the catastrophe in the Gulf. They have hired a PR agency to promote BP’s image as a biofuel producer with new market slogans.
Public Eye is asking BP to live up to its slogan and “withdraw from high-risk deep sea drilling, give up the tar sands projects, and immediately cease its global lobbying against higher safety standards in oil production and for weaker climate protection laws.”
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