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Getting Gas

A guide to picking the right pump.

Should you ever find yourself running out of fuel on a street crowded with gas stations, you'll be forced to make a spot decision about where to fill up your tank. But not all gas companies are created equal, and where you decide to pump can make a statement about your values. GOOD compiled statistics on five of the largest oil companies operating gas stations in the U.S., looking at where they get their oil, how much it costs, how much they make, and how willing they are to invest these profits in alternative energy. So the next time you pull up to the pump, you can fill up on the gas that's right for you.
Company: Royal Dutch ShellBrand(s): ShellHQ: The HagueTop countries it gets oil from: Mexico, Algeria, Ecuador, Nigeria, ChinaAverage price per gallon: $2.35CSR score: 62005 gross profit: $54.1 billion2005 spending on alternative energy: Royal Dutch Shell says it has invested $1 billion to date in alternative energy, but would not disclose what it spends annually.2005 spending on community reinvestment: $127 million figures are for all ofRoyal Dutch Shell, not just Shell U.S.Notes: A Dutch concern with a century-old pedigree, Shell has been dogged by allegations of environmental degradation, accounting discrepancies, the exaggeration of community reinvestment projects, and having turned Nigeria into the petroleum-bearing equivalent of a banana republic.A good choice for... European playboys, Russian businessmen who can't find a Lukoil, Boratwho drive... Acuras, leased BMWsand listen to... Daft Punkon the way to... some club's VIP room.
Company: Exxon/MobilBrand(s): Exxon, Mobil, EssoHQ: suburbs of Dallas, TexasTop countries it gets oil from: Mexico, Canada, Angola, Saudi Arabia, IraqAverage price per gallon: $2.36CSR score: 3.72005 gross profit: $158 billion2005 spending on alternative energy: Exxon/Mobil says it has spent $74 billion in the last five years "to expand energy supplies," both renewable and nonrenewable, but would not provide a detailed breakdown.2005 spending on community reinvestment: $132.8 million61 percent in U.S.Notes: Exxon has been linked with "catastrophic environmental disaster" ever since 1989, when the notorious Valdez tanker plowed into an Alaskan reef, dumping 11 million gallons of oil into the ocean. Exxon says it's paid out $3 billion in cleaning bills and damages; lawyers are wrangling over $5 billion more. It is also the only U.S.-based energy giant not to provide benefits to same-sex couples.A good choice for... chronographic-watch collectors, bottom-line watchers, seal clubberswho drive... Hummers, Humvees, Air Force Oneand listen to... Toby Keithon the way to... balmy Caribbean tax shelters
Company: BPBrand(s): BP, Arco, AralHQ: London, U.K.Top countries it gets oil from: Canada, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, AngolaAverage price per gallon: $2.36CSR score:6.82005 gross profit:$57 billion2005 spending on alternative energy: ~$600 million2005 spending on community reinvestment: $95.5 million61 percent in U.S.Notes: BP was the original blood-for-oil company, pumping black gold out of the Middle East and leaving a series of wars and deposed governments in its wake. While some may be unimpressed by its recent brand makeover, the company's transparent and thorough self-reporting of alternative energy and social responsibility efforts are for real.A good choice for... Whole Foods-shopping yoga moms, DiCaprio, other Hollywood typeswho drive... Priusesand listen to... Wicoon the way to... a macrobiotic potluck
Company: Citgo (The U.S. subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela)Brand(s): citgoHQ: Houston, Texas(and Caracas, Venezuela)Top countries it gets oil from: Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, Algeria, EcuadorAverage price per gallon: $2.38CSR score: Not ranked2005 gross profit: Citgo made $730 million in net profit annually but would not disclose its gross.2005 spending on alternative energy: ~$167 million2005 spending on community reinvestment: $30 million figures are for Citgo, not for all of Petróleos de Venezuela, 61 percent in U.S.Notes: Citgo is controlled by Hugo Chavez, the swaggering president of Venezuela. After donating discounted heating oil to low-income families on the U.S. East Coast, Chavez called George W. Bush "the devil" before the U.N. General Assembly, a tirade that won applause from the assembled, rhetorical membership in the Axis of Evil, and the end of Citgo's 20-year relationship with 7-Eleven.A good choice for... granola-eating Nation readers with smug bumper stickerswho drive... Dad's Volvoand listen to... Rage Against the Machineon the way to... Food Not Bombs
Company: ChevronBrand(s): Chevron, Texaco, Caltex, Conoco, Standard Oil, Phillips 66, Union 76HQ: San Ramon, CaliforniaTop countries it gets oil from: Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Angola, IraqAverage price per gallon: $2.38CSR score:4.32005 gross profit:$57.2 billion2005 spending on alternative energy: ~$300 million2005 spending on community reinvestment: $73.1 million 54 percent to North AmericaNotes: Born of the breakup of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, Chevron gradually swallowed most of Gulf, Texaco, and Unocal, to become one of the world's largest energy companies. While never suffering a major P.R. setback, Chevron has paid millions in penalties and settlements after allegations of pollution and the sexual harassment of employees.A good choice for... Aunt Sally and Uncle Joewho drive... a nondescript domestic sedanand listen to... Oldieson the way to... the Jersey Shore

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