No Such Thing as an Ethical Gas Station?

In light of the recent oil-related environmental disaster taking place in the Gulf of Mexico (as well as those in Nigeria and other places around the world), Grist's reliable Umbra was recently asked whether any American gas stations take extra measures to be socially or environmentally responsible, and would therefore be better options for refueling. Her answer: Not so much.

"Unlike coffee," she writes, "gasoline does not have a 'Fair Trade' label, the seal of approval that tells us better trading conditions and sustainable practices were embraced in the making of the product."

Exxon has funded climate-change denial; Shell's been in trouble for human rights violations; Chevron, as we've seen in Joe Berlinger's Crude, is embroiled in a tragic environmental and social quagmire in Ecuador; and all five major oil companies have clean-up plans along the lines of BP.

In the absence of a good choice, the best course of action is simply to use less gas.

Head to Grist for more information on the topic of responsible gas purchasing.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user midorisyu