Big Oil Tries to Inspire Warm Gooey Feelings

As ExxonMobil breaks its own record to post the largest annual profit by a U.S. company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is trying to tap some goodwill. At the Super Bowl U.S. football championship game, API is sponsoring "Kickoff to Rebuild," highlighting its work with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that promotes homeownership. API and Rebuilding Together are launching an "Energy Efficient Homes Initiative," which aims "to incorporate energy-efficiency measures in the more than 9,000 homes revitalized each year by Rebuilding Together." API has been battling the oil industry's negative public image for years, with increased outreach to journalists and bloggers. In related news, O'Dwyer's reports that Saudi Arabia's oil ministry paid the PR firm Hill & Knowlton $1 million, to promote OPEC's "message of hope and reassurance" around its November 2007 summit in Riyadh.