We'll come back to saving the Earth after this commercial interruption

CNN’s mega-hyped special series on the environment, called Planet in Peril, and hosted by Anderson Cooper, is sponsored by Conoco Phillips.

I haven’t been watching the series, just caught a glimpse after Countdown tonight, enough to catch the sponsorship info. But someone who did watch said this:

It was disturbing to see the onslaught of American Petroleum Institute and pro-Coal commercials playing during Planet In Peril last night. Why are they lobbying so hard right now? Is there energy legislation on the table?

American’s For Balanced Energy Choices – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQSqviu9_7k

and another had the same reaction I did with this

If they want to be taken seriously, one would think that CNN would have sought a corporate sponsor who was more concerned about the environment than CP.

According to Wikipedia, the Conoco Phillip’s environmental record is mixed:

On April 11, 2007, ConocoPhillips became the first U.S. oil company to join the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, an alliance of big business and environmental groups that in January sent a letter to President George W. Bush stating that mandatory emissions caps are needed to reduce the flow of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. ConocoPhillips has said it will spend $150 million this year on the research and development of new energy sources and technologies— a 50 percent increase in spending from 2006.[4]

A recent University of Massachusetts study has ranked ConocoPhillips third among U.S. corporate producers of air pollution. According to the researchers, ConocoPhillips facilities release more than eight million pounds of toxic chemicals annually into the air.[5] The company has also been implicated in some of the United States’ worst toxic waste dumps; the Center for Public Integrity has announced that United States Environmental Protection Agency documents link ConocoPhillips to 52 Superfund sites.[6]

In 2003, ConocoPhillips was named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by a Georgian environmental group called Green Alternative. The suit claimed that a number of foreign oil companies colluded with the Georgian government to induce authorities to approve a $3 billion pipeline without properly evaluating environmental impact.[7]

In 2007, a number of environmental groups including the Sierra Club and the Prairie Rivers Network announced their support for ConocoPhillips’ plan to expand its Wood River oil refinery. A spokesperson for the group said that, despite ConocoPhillips’ history of environmental policy violations, she was optimistic that the corporation would comply with pollution laws as it expanded the refinery.[8

I’ve watched or listened to so little commercial media for so long, that I am extremely biased against it. Unlike a lot of regular viewers, I cannot tune out the corporate propaganda. And I would be extremely suspect of any program on the environment that depended on an energy company to be broadcast.

Some more things to read on the topic:



2 thoughts on “We'll come back to saving the Earth after this commercial interruption

  1. Rena

    Joe Sudbay at Americablog makes a very interesting observation about CNN’s interest in the climate issue and addresses CNN president, Jonathan Klein:

    On the one hand, CNN has been promoting this week’s special, “Planet in Peril” almost non-stop. CNN actually changed its on-screen logo color to green to mark the occasion.

    Yet, on his other network, CNN Headline News, Klein continues to give prime-time billing to global warming denier Glenn Beck. Think Progress has video of Beck’s show from Tuesday night — the very night Planet in Peril was airing.

    So, Mr. Klein, is the planet in peril or not? On CNN, the planet is in peril. On CNN’s Headline News, it’s not. CNN is green. CNN’s Headline News is not. How come Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and that animal planet guy aren’t on Glenn Beck’s show to explain why CNN thinks the planet is in peril? Maybe you could force Glenn Beck to watch “Planet in Peril” and hope he’ll learn something.

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