Entergy’s Super Black Eye

by Henry Payne

Entergy, meet BP.

The Superdome blackout reveals another energy company that, while preening to the public about its green morals, forgot its core business. Just as no one will remember BP’s pre-Deep Horizon green rebranding of itself as “Beyond Petroleum,” so will no one remember that — before its disastrous, prime-time, Superdome blackout — New Orleans utility Entergy was billing its Super Bowl efforts as a new benchmark for green sustainability.

Green? Now the only color associated with Entergy is a black eye.

The Super Bowl’s “a wonderful platform to bring people together to think about how our actions as individuals matter, and what we can do about climate change,” Patty Riddlebarger, director of corporate social responsibility (we’re not making this up) for Entergy, told National Geographic. She bragged about “protective and energy-saving features” from improved rainwater control to 26,000 LED lights to buying carbon credits.

Too bad they didn’t buy better power lines.

The Associated Press reports that the utility neglected decaying infrastructure coming into the stadium — despite a memo sent months before the big game warning of “a chance of failure” due to “concerns regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy’s connection point to the Dome.”

Oh. Though the blackout’s cause is still under investigation, Entergy’s first priority was clearly not lighting the game.

Rewind to the 2010 BP oil spill and an oil company obsessed with image over substance. Hidden behind BP’s politically correct PR blitz was a corporation that was one of the industry’s worst in offshore-oil-drilling safety.

“BP got distracted from its core businesses and spent its energies getting into solar ventures and carbon-trading schemes, and otherwise losing the plot of an energy company. The absurd re-branding to ‘Beyond Petroleum’ speaks volumes,” reported the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner on Planet Gore after the Gulf disaster.

Allen Hershkowitz of the left-wing Natural Resources Defense Council said the NFL’s teaming with his group has “the potential to become one of the most important collaborations in the history of the environmental movement.”

Make that one of the most embarrassing collaborations.

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