fuelIn 1989, after the infamous Exxon Valdez oil tanker blanketed Prince William Sound with more than 10 million gallons of crude, I vowed never to buy gas at Exxon. It was an unprecedented environmental disaster and it’s still the largest oil spill in US history. But it wasn’t just the spill that drove me to ban Exxon — it was their entirely inadequate response, token remorse, bungled clean-up efforts, and campaigns to mislead the public.

And unfortunately, not much has changed. Exxon is still working hard to protect record profits while engaging in dastardly efforts to mislead the public. Their campaigns to discredit global warming have been well documented and continue today with a total disregard for scientific evidence.

So it’s pretty clear that when filling up your gas tank, avoid Exxon at all costs (and Mobil too as they’re part of the same company). But what about other gas stations… where should an environmentally concerned citizen buy gas?

To help, the Sierra Club has published an article called “Pick Your Poison: An Environmentalist’s Guide to Gasoline,” where they rank the major oil companies by reviewing their stance on global warming, green initiatives, and anti-green history or practices. Here’s the list from best to worst…

Best choices

  • BP
  • Sunoco

Middle of the road

  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Chevron
  • Valero Energy Corporation
  • Citgo

Worst choices

  • ExxonMobil (wow — didn’t see this coming…)
  • ConocoPhillips

So there you go. If you can avoid oil companies and gas stations entirely by going electric or switching to biofuel, using mass transit, or riding you bike to work — that’s the way to go. Until then, when it comes to filling up your gas tank in the Lowcountry, why not choose an oil company that at least acknowledges global warming is real?

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