BP Finds Sustainability in Oil and Gas, Sells Off Wind

BP-logoOnly a month ago BP – which not long ago promoted itself as “Beyond Petroleum” – released an “energy outlook” video that projected 99 percent of America’s energy will be supplied domestically by 2030, in part because it says the U.S. will grow production from renewable sources 202 percent by that time.

Just don’t expect BP to participate in the alleged alternative energy “boom.” The London-based petroleum producer announced last week it would dump its investments in U.S. wind energy projects, which were said to be worth $3.1 billion. It’s hard to believe they’re really worth that much, however, especially without government subsidies – not to mention the fact that BP is so easily discarding “assets” that are supposed to hold great value. The move follows a December 2011 announcement that the company would exit the solar business.

So where does BP think – its “outlook” notwithstanding …

‘Beyond Petroleum’ Gives Up on Solar

bp solar no more

BP Solar, the alternative energy subsidiary of the oil industry giant which received a $7.5 million Department of Energy grant only four years ago, announced last week it would exit the solar business.

The unit just closed its only U.S. manufacturing facility, in Frederick, Md., last year. The company said it would outsource its production of solar photovoltaic panels to China and India. BP CEO Tony Hayward told the Washington Post at the time it was “moving to where we can manufacture cheaply.” BP auctioned equipment in January this year from the closed plant, and in a sign the overall industry – with bankrupt Solyndra as its face – is completely tanking, an experienced industrial auctioneer told the Frederick News-Post, “We’ve been doing more solar technology auctions lately.”

So much for the excuse that U.S. solar companies “can’t compete” because of the cheap, heavily subsidized production of panels …

CNBC: Flaherty Rips Congressional Calls to End BP Dividend

Today I discussed the increasing pressure on BP to suspend its dividend with Matt Miller of Wealth-X, along with CNBC co-hosts Amada Drury and Larry Kudlow. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) has organized a letter signed by 50 members of Congress demanding such a suspension. Here’s a transcript:

Amanda (Mandy) Drury: Well, BP is of course facing a lot of heat about its dividend. Lawmakers are saying the oil giant should halt its payments to shareholders until it stops the leak and has a clear idea about the total costs for the spill. So, should BP be keeping its dividend or should it suspend it? Let’s ask Peter Flaherty from the National Legal and Policy Center and Matt Miller, chief research officer at Wealth-X and also former Forbes editor. Gentlemen, thanks for your time. Peter, why do you say, keep it?

Peter Flaherty: Having these Congressmen get involved strikes …

Beyond Pathetic

BP logoIt’s revealing that the “greenest” of the big international oil companies is now responsible for one of the worst ecological disasters in history. Maybe BP should have concentrated on its core mission of efficiently and safely producing oil instead of trying to make us believe that BP stands for “Beyond Petroleum.”

Most big companies zealously guard their brand names. British Petroleum seems embarrassed by theirs. Even as the Deepwater Horizon gushes into its 42nd day, the BP website proclaims:

Our brand is summed up by the phrase ‘beyond petroleum’. BP recognises that meeting the energy challenges of today and tomorrow requires both traditional hydrocarbons and a growing range of alternatives. We are at the forefront of delivering diverse, material and real solutions to meet the world’s needs for more and secure, cleaner and affordable energy.

The ubiquitous and annoying Beyond Petroleum TV ads always feature windmills, a tiny corner of …