Did you know Robert Redford used to work for big oil? As a teenager, Redford worked in the oil fields for Standard Oil, now Chevron — while his father worked in the accounting department for the same company.

“I know what it’s like when a person’s job, their own livelihood, depends on having to hold that line, and how difficult it is when the ethic of a company goes against some of the dangers attached to it,” says the now well-known enviro-celeb Redford. “That’s tough — because that’s the job you’ve got. It may be the only job you can have. So it was hard thing for me. It was painful, when I worked in the oil fields.”

Redford tells this personal story in a short video for the environmental nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council. In this 5-minute clip on the Gulf Coast disaster, Redford says that greenwashing fossil fuel companies make him want to throw up, that politicians who’ve profited by colluding with big oil companies must be made to change, and that Americans need to take charge to pass a clean energy policy.

Watch the video to get inspired, then learn more about clean energy and climate legislation at NRDC’s website — which lets you easily e-mail your senators urging them to pass clean energy legislation.

Robert Redford on working for Standard Oil
The actor and activist says even as a teenager working in the oil fields, he knew big oil companies weren't telling the whole truth.