British Petroleum, the company responsible for the worst single-source environmental catastrophe in U.S. history, has over its 100-year history caused a number of environmental and workplace disasters. But the harm BP has caused goes further. In the early 1950s, BP and the British government convinced the U.S. to overthrow the democratic government of Iran - an action that has had disastrous consequences for Iran, the U.S., and the Middle East to this day.
Before the Gulf disaster - and the stupidly arrogant statements of its CEO Tony Hayward - many Americans probably didn't even know that BP was a British company. In the 1980s BP began gobbling up U.S. oil companies - Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) in 1978, Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco) in 1998, and Atlantic Richfield (Arco) in 2000. It's now the third-largest energy company in the world