Dear Friends,

The oil spill that BP is accountable for that occurred on Earth Day of this year is getting bigger. Much bigger. According to an independent analysis done at the request of National Public Radio, the spill is more than ten times larger than the estimates that the company now known as “Beyond Petroleum” has publicly released. The estimate places the current spill output at around 70,000 barrels a day, which puts the potential total of this spill somewhere in the range of TEN times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill and may in fact qualify this as the largest oil spill ever in American waters.

For now, the shores of the gulf are relatively unaffected, but there is a strong chance the oil will be whipped up into the gulf stream in which case even the white sandy beaches of Florida will be in jeopardy.

As you know, the FUEL DVD releases on June 22 across America. I advise you to get it on Netflix today so you can be among the first to see the amazing work that’s gone into this “whole earth catalog” of the green digital age.

In the spirit of the FUEL movement, I hereby publicly invite BP and its affiliates to the first ever, public screening of the FUEL film in New Orleans, Louisiana on the night of Saturday June 26th. This screening will be attended by national media and by a cadre of well known celebrities. The intention of this screening is to open a dialogue of collaboration. We have done such screenings all over the world with well-known environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, NRDC and Greenpeace as well as with representatives of local industries with whom there is traditionally animosity, but little true dialogue. The collaboration that results from FUEL screenings is often powerful, community building and transformational.

I am upset at that thought that BP is lying about the amount of oil being spilled. But I believe in every person’s humanity. I believe there are many people who work for BP and other oil companies that want change. They want collaboration and they want to protect the environment. And ultimately, I think they really would prefer that their companies be “energy companies” serving the public good and protecting our commons – our land, water and air.

Now is the time to come forward and have this dialogue.

I encourage each of you to forward this newsletter to everyone you know – especially to representatives within BP. Please send it to every contact on their web sites. Again, this is an invitation for a peaceful dialogue about being honest, being accountable and being a member of a growing global community of concerned citizens that truly want to see our energy sources go green – not just in name, but in reality.

Details on the June 26th New Orleans FUEL screening will be forthcoming in our next email, including the growing list of celebrities who have volunteered to attend and the growing list of media who will be covering the event. It’s time to shed some light on what has been up until now, a very dark history of oil in the south. It’s time for us to take an unbending stand that our nation moves toward clean energy, not in 25 years, but today.

Yours in sustainability,

Josh Tickell

Director, FUEL

P.S. No sooner had I began working on this draft than two oil tankers collided in the water near Cuba, washing an untold sum of oil onto beaches there. It seems that all the fail-safes in the world cannot compensate for unintended natural and manmade circumstances (a lesson for future energy sources that are high risk ventures). Why would we as a global community allow our natural heritage to be put at stake so that we can continue to use oil over more progressive benign sources of fuel like algal oils, solar, wind and biodiesel?

P.S.S. Here is the link to the NPR study I referenced:

P.S.S.  (My final P.S.) – I will give a deep bulk DVD discount to anyone or any company who would like to buy a copy of FUEL for every executive at BP, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and Shell. This DVD provides a way for these companies to get involved in the future of energy – a profitable future. I think they need a little friendly encouragement. Who wants to take me up on this offer?

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  1. I do not know the content of FUEL. I do know that BP, among other things, manufactures solar electric modules. I also know that one carton of BP solar modules, covering about 300 square feet can collect sufficient energy to allow an electric, 5 passenger car to drive about 80 miles per day. One can attack petroleum but one can also promote solar in ways yet unspoken by most of the media and most so called advocacy groups. In the meantime, the majority of the politicians of the USA seem headed, whether for or against offshore drilling, towards an energy future based mostly on coal and new nukes.

    With hundreds of billions of dollars at stake and known and unknown effects on every living organism on planet earth, the need for honest dialogue has never been more important. Hidden agendas and ignorance will not provide for a better future. I have yet to see salient facts on solar for example, presented by Al Gore or Who Killed the Electric Car or Michael Moore or numerous “Save the Earth” type groups. I am curious to see if FUEL does any better.

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