December 19, 2007

Big Oils Latest Attempt at Greenwashing Falls Apart

An article in the news today brought to light the oil industries attempts at greenwashing their public image through investments in biofuels. Earlier Chevron made an investment in a Galveston, Texas area biodiesel plant. And Chevron and the oil industry widely touted that effort in their PR campaigns. Such as this snippet from the American Petroleum Institue (API).

Chevron has invested in Galveston Bay Biodiesel LP (GBB), a Texas-based company that is building one of the first large-scale biodiesel plants in the United States, which will double the size of the amount of biodiesel being produced in the United States. The biodiesel will be made from soybeans and other renewable feedstocks.

Now aside from the fact that Chevron only bought a 22 percent stake in the company, neither it's current production of 20 million gallons per year or it's proposed future production of 100 million gallons per year would double the existing biodiesel production in this country. According to the National Biodiesel Board current production capacity is at 1.85 billion gallons per year.

Now Chevron is being sued for breeching it's contract in regards to investments it intended to make in the plant.

Chevron Corp. has refused to put more money into a biodiesel plant in Galveston, breaching its contract and forcing the plant's owners to "dramatically" scale back expansion plans, a lawsuit alleges.

And the oil company "knowingly" misrepresented its intention to boost its investment in the plant, which misled investors who had counted on the oil company's involvement to add credibility and stability to the project, says the suit filed this week in Galveston County court.

Of course Chevron denies the claims but I think the article put it best.

The dispute exposes rifts that had been developing quietly over months between Chevron and the plant's operators, and may turn a relatively small investment in alternative fuels by one of the world's biggest oil companies into a public relations and legal headache.

Full Article

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