BP, the oil gathering, refining and marketing conglomerate formerly known as British Petroleum, is continuing its efforts to convince people that it has moved “beyond petroleum”. In two large, 2/3 of a page advertisements on pages 16 and 17 of the November 7, 2005 issue of BusinessWeek, the company details its efforts to double its global solar production before the end of 2006 and its efforts to provide consumers with access to solar panels at Home Depot.
The efforts seem admirable until you realize just how small they are in the context of a company as large as BP. Using the company’s own figures as published in the adds, the investment in solar panel production capacity is going amount to $25 Million. In the year ending on December 31, 2004, BP reported net earnings of $17.09 Billion dollars. Let’s put that on a graph:
(Warning – you will have to do some scrolling to see the picture clearly)
See that thin little blue line next to the tall orange rectangle – that is $25 Million next to $17.09 Billion. The numbers are going to have to change before I am going to start believing the propaganda. BP may not be “British” anymore, but it is certainly still “Petroleum”.