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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Business Note: BP Cuts Political Spending

Air Date: Week of

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Living on Earth’s Jennifer Chu reports on an international oil company’s decision to cut its political purse strings.


Coming up, a scavenger hunt that uses satellites, computers, and the World Wide Web to track buried treasure. First, this Environmental Business Note from Jennifer Chu.


CHU: When it comes to money, BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, is divorcing itself from politics. The international oil conglomerate will no longer be making any contributions to political parties or activities anywhere in the world. In the U.S., the absence will be felt. During the 2000 presidential campaign, BP donated one million dollars as federal soft money contributions. In 2001, the contributions dropped to a quarter of a million dollars, most of which went to Republicans. A spokeswoman for BP says that the company inherited a history of political contributions when it merged with Amoco and Arco, both American oil companies. These mega-mergers made BP the third largest oil company in the world. BP's announcement comes at a time when multi-national companies and their relationship with governments are facing close scrutiny, following the collapse of the energy trading company, Enron. BP says it will continue to participate in policy debates but come April 1st, politicians should go elsewhere to fill up their coffers. That's this week's Business Note. I'm Jennifer Chu.

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.

[MUSIC: Akira Satake, "Tail Wag Dog Jig," PLANET SOUP (ellipsis - 1997)]



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