"Energy giants ConocoPhillips and BP have brought their 'green' environmental campaigns to central New Jersey," reports Ryan Tracy, "funding research ... and, most recently, sponsoring a 'Conversation on Energy' forum." Conoco's corporate communications director explained, "We hope to reach out to the American public. ... Opinion polls ranked [oil and gas corporations] dead last in industry credibility, even below tobacco." Princeton University's Environmental Institute has a "Carbon Mitigation Initiative" that has received $15 million from BP and $5 million from Ford Motor Co. Other companies have funded other research programs. ExxonMobil gave $100 million to Stanford University's Global Climate and Energy Program, and ConocoPhillips gave $22.5 million to Iowa State University for biomass fuel research. Environmentalists called the Conoco forum in Trenton "greenwashing," but the director of Rutgers University's Energy Institute, which co-sponsored the forum, called it a "good first step" for the oil company.
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