The Oil Industry Road Show Comes to New Jersey

BP advertisement from 2004"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.