Today, BP's name is synonomous with environmental devastation. But a year ago, before (and even slightly after) it's oil rig exploded, sunk, and sent oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, BP was a good guy for some on the environmental Left. It was "Beyond Petroleum" with a nice green sunflower or something as its logo.
For one thing, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham were prepping to roll out a climate change bill that had the backing of BP, Shell, and Conoco. Washington Post columnist Steve Pearlstein wrote on April 15 of "the heroic efforts of two dogged senators -- Democrat John Kerry and Republican Lindsey Graham" to craft a compromise that brought industry on board.
Even after the explosion, on April 22, Kerry arranged to stand on stage with these oil executives pushing their bill. The only reason this photo-op didn't happen was that Graham pulled the plug after a disagreement over immigration.
Here's what I wrote about BP last summer:
And here's BP's branding from 2007:
BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels and solar energy, two products that cannot break even without government support. Lobbying records show the company backing solar subsidies including federal funding for solar research. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency, is currently financing a BP solar energy project in Argentina.
Ex-Im has also put up taxpayer cash to finance construction of the 1,094-mile Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan, Turkey—again, profiting BP.
Lobbying records also show BP lobbying on Obama’s stimulus bill and Bush’s Wall Street bailout. You can guess the oil giant wasn’t in league with the Cato Institute or Ron Paul on those.