Friday, March 28, 2008

Where does Betty buy her gas?

Of course the answer to that is NOWHERE. Better World Betty walks, bikes, and uses public transportation.

BUT she has plenty of friends (FOBs - Friends of Betty) all across the green spectrum: retirees with Prius'; families with kids,(with the accompanying activity transport needs), dogs; couples who live in the countryside; UVA students who travel home or elsewhere during the breaks.

So what is the most socially and environmentally responsible choice to make when it comes to gas?

Before we go there, it is important to acknowledge that this question is akin to asking yourself what poison would you like to drink? Each of these companies has significant black marks when it comes to our beloved planet: one, close to home, is when Conoco gained permission to drill in Utah's Grand Staircase/ Escalante National Monument and luckily they came up empty. Oil spills, destruction, supporting dictatorships, the list goes on.

Sierra Club reviewed the records of the 8 largest oil companies and here are the results:

BP (click here for locations in cville)
Sunoco (3788 N. SEMINOLE TRAIL)

Royal Dutch Shell
Valero Energy Corporation


BP is one of the biggest investors in renewable energy technologies among oil companies and they have environmental/sustainability reports available. They are particularly active in the area of photovoltaic (solar) cells and BP Solar is a major cell manufacturer. (Amoco is BP owned). Before you get too excited, my FOBs, do take into account that they are among the "dirty four" (ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Phillips Petroleum) who are seeking to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Answer: let's write letters to headquarters... anyone want to join?)

Check out the whole report: Pick your poison

Another alternative, biodiesel*.

For those of you who want to align your dollars with your values in the political arena, try (currently undergoing an update) or

Hope this helps!

*(Betty's working on a future blog article on this alternative - use patience: entire books have been written on the subject and it seems some new bit of information arrives daily)

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