BP, Shell Put Real Wind Behind Their Rhetoric

Fri, 2007-03-02 06:47Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

BP, Shell Put Real Wind Behind Their Rhetoric

Two of the world's leading oil producers have almost overnight joined some of the biggest players in wind power in the United States, accelerating a trend of large corporations investing in the rapidly growing alternative-energy field. Shell is one of the nation's top five generators of wind power, while BP's Alternative Energy group – launched 16 months ago – aims to develop projects that produce 550 megawatts of electricity this year, one-sixth of the projected US wind energy output in 2007.
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Is it conventional crude or tar sands? That is the question. And it's one with high stakes, to boot. 

The BP Whiting refinery in Indiana spilled between 470 and 1228 gallons of oil (or is it tar sands?) into Lake Michigan on March 24 and four days later no one really knows for sure what type of crude it was. Most signs, however, point to tar sands. 

The low-hanging fruit: the...

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