Big Oil's Bad Rap

The Middle East war has rekindled consumer hatred of petroleum companies. In fact, they get more loathing than loot

Antiwar protesters shouting "No blood for oil!" infuriate George Bush. His color rising and lip curling, he retorts in speeches and private meetings, "It's not about oil! It's about naked aggression!"

Bush, a former oilman, knows well the visceral animosity most people feel toward America's major oil companies. A survey by the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's trade group, finds that 72% of Americans view Big Oil unfavorably. A study by Chevron shows that 65% of citizens say they cannot believe anything the industry says about the gulf war. Most Americans think -- incorrectly -- that oil is more profitable than...

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