On Boycotting BP

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  1. kerryg profile image85
    kerrygposted 11 years ago

    Go ahead, boycott BP. Not only do you get to send a message to the company that has proved incapable of stopping the undersea gusher unleashed on April 20, but (unless you live in a one-gas-station town) you can do it without much pain to yourself.

    Drive right on by the BP station and pull up to the pumps from Exxon, the company responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and, more recently, one of the biggest corporate funders of the movement to tar the science of climate change. Exxon also managed to reduce the $5 billion in punitive damages awarded by an Anchorage jury for the Valdez disaster to $507.5 million; the Valdez fishermen and other victims have still not been made whole. (Fun fact: to protect itself in case the original judgment was affirmed, Exxon got a line of credit from JP Morgan, which the bank then parlayed into the first credit default swap, as recounted in the 2009 book Fool’s Gold by Gillian Tett. These are the exotic financial instruments that helped trigger the Great Recession of 2008–09.)

    Or roll into the Texaco or Chevron station (Chevron bought Texaco in 2001). Texaco is being sued by people in Ecuador for contaminating their groundwater, causing hundreds of residents to develop fatal cancers and causing other environmental damage near the Lago Agrio oilfield, where Texaco dumped oil-production waste (18.5 billion gallons into open, unlined pits) for almost 20 years. (For those of you moved by First Amendment issues, Chevron has also gone to court to force filmmaker Joe Berlinger to turn over more than 600 hours of outtake footage he shot for his documentary on the case, titled Crude.) Chevron counters that dumping sludge was standard operating procedure at the time.

    Or roll up to the Citgo pumps. Citgo is a wholly owned subsidiary of the state oil company of Venezuela, which is ruled by the always-entertaining (except to political opponents he has silenced) Hugo Chávez. A 2009 fire at Citgo’s refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, sent toxic fumes into nearby neighborhoods for two days.

    Uncomfortable giving your money to a petrodictator? There’s a Shell station up ahead. Too bad Shell has been accused of human-rights violations in Nigeria, through its collaboration with the country’s former military rulers who executed activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others in 1995, committed crimes against humanity, and tortured opponents. (Shell settled the case for $15.5 million last year.) Shell has also been accused of despoiling the Niger Delta through its oil operations there: a ruptured oil pipeline that killed 100 people in 2008; polluted drinking wells; fields and farmland poisoned by leaked oil.

    In other words, pick which malefactor or criminal—environmental or human—you’d like to support when you gas up. And the list above doesn’t even include the fact that what the oil companies sell is one of the major contributors to catastrophic climate change. So unless your boycott of BP extends to all oil companies—oh, and throw in coal companies and natural-gas utilities—you get points for symbolism and self-righteousness but not much else.

    It’s understandable that consumers are furious and frustrated by the gulf catastrophe and want to punish those responsible. Protesters have shown up at BP stations in Europe and the United States, and Facebook’s Boycott BP group has 431,000 fans as of this morning. Demonstrators wield banners proclaiming, “We won’t pay for BP’s mess. Take it from your bonus chest.” But to find the ultimate culprits, look in the mirror.

    BP and the 32 other operators of deepwater wells in the gulf are there not because they find it technologically interesting to see how deep they can drill, or because their roustabouts like the view from the rigs. They’re drilling because of America’s—and the world’s—insatiable lust for oil. The U.S. consumes 800 million gallons of petroleum per week, according to the Energy Information Agency. The only way to make this the last oil spill in the gulf is to make oil obsolete.

    Source: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/07/boycott-bp.html

    1. psycheskinner profile image82
      psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It is not really pointless.  If people follow through with boycotss even for a year, the more bad things a company does, the more it will suffer--perhaps motivating it to do fewer bad things.  If you really thing they all suck equally your choice is to support and industry that suck, or stop using gas.

    2. TheSituation profile image62
      TheSituationposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ok, but I want you to boycott the people who approved this all..i.e. the Feds.  Ballsy for Obama to call for the head of BP to be fired and not the head of the agency...well I guess that would be him,,,

    3. FletcherWesthouse profile image58
      FletcherWesthouseposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      What power do we have?  We are insignificant in the shadow of these giant oil companies.  The one thing we have power over is our purchasing.  Sure oil stinks and our reliance on it is disgusting, but what have any of us done to start using other forms of energy on a mass scale?  Not too much!  Its a catch-22 for all of us.  We don't want oil and its damaging effects, but at the same time we have to. We have no choice to put gas in our cars, exceptions do exist in urban living and choosing not to use automobiles, but this is  reality for most of us.  Someone has to be held accountable, and this time it is BP.  Last time it was Exxon.  We have to send a message, even if its not the most effective or righteous thing to do, here is  my point: Do something! Anything, just get out there and make them hear you.

      1. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Buy a bicycle. wink

        1. profile image0
          kimberlyslyricsposted 11 years agoin reply to this


        2. Sally's Trove profile image78
          Sally's Troveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          This has been the best advice so far.

          Grow your own tomatoes, too.

  2. Uninvited Writer profile image82
    Uninvited Writerposted 11 years ago

    I'm definitely going to make a point of trying to avoid anything that BP is involved in.

    1. alternate poet profile image67
      alternate poetposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      As the OP has shown you - it would be pointless.  BP is the operating company under US law, but it is the US company who were drilling the well from their own rig under their own safety rules that had the accident. Maybe you would be better off finding out who they are and which companies own them - and then boycott all their products also ?  Will be a long list of stuff that you will have to do without.

      1. psycheskinner profile image82
        psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        The point is to make a sacrifice to make a point.  So even picking one or two of these thimgs and finding an alternative strikes me as better than saying "you suck, please take all my money".

        1. alternate poet profile image67
          alternate poetposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I can agree generally, although I have protested most wars including the Vietnam war - without any real effect I think.

          The issue is - who are you going to protest against?  BP pays this US company to drill for oil - the US company screws it up - who is to blame, BP or the contractor ?  Every company in that area probably uses the same US company to drill for them.

          1. psycheskinner profile image82
            psycheskinnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            BP has open accepted responsibilty as the entity that contracted and approved the work.  So I am okay with blaming them as the primary cause.

            1. alternate poet profile image67
              alternate poetposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              So you don't think that the drilling company who caused the accident has any responsibility in this ?

          2. TheSituation profile image62
            TheSituationposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I would like to throw in the agencies that are SUPPOSED to be watching this, who issued waivers and allowed all of this to happen.  THEY ARE ALL TO BLAME!!!

    2. rebekahELLE profile image89
      rebekahELLEposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      BP owns only a handful of the 11,000 gas stations that bear it's name.
      if boycotting BP gas stations, it's the family run business owner who will suffer.  The gas may have a spritz of BP additives before it's shipped to the station. If you gas up at Sams Club or Costco, etc., that's gas that comes directly from BP's oil refineries.

      better to cut down on our oil addiction.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/12/your- … amp;st=cse

      an older article about gasoline

  3. manlypoetryman profile image79
    manlypoetrymanposted 11 years ago

    Shoot...Someone needs to take the blame...and if they didn't then everyone would spend even more months pointing fingers at one another. BP ultimately took responsibility...they shouldn't be boycotted...they should be liquidated...End of Story.

    The price of the priceless lifes that are being destroyed, have been destroyed, and the ones being ruined are worth more than any one Company. They have proven themselves unable to comply with safe operations before.

    Bottom line: The only thing that matters is stopping the leak, cleaning the beach and marshlands over the next twenty plus years, and somehow siphoning as much oil out of the Gulf as possible. Whether it is pointless or not to boycott them is not as critical as the above in the scheme of things. (They need money...and lot's off it to fix their mess!)Whatever it takes to handle this mess and fix it permanently...is the most important thing for now. (And pray they don't screw anything else up...for the moment)Then...dissolve their assets into the Economic and animal species recovery for the Gulf!

    1. katiem2 profile image60
      katiem2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly and by paying for the damages and restoring the gulf and affected areas, business etc etc they should well be liguidated!  Let's just hope they don't get a BAIL OUT!   Pay Up!

  4. MikeNV profile image70
    MikeNVposted 11 years ago

    It's very hard to boycott any large corporation because they own so many BRANDS underneath them.  You may think you are boycotting them and you may just be buying products from another company they own.

  5. Harvey Stelman profile image59
    Harvey Stelmanposted 11 years ago

    kerry, Boycotting BP is a terribe thing. If you have a pension fund, you probably own their stock. The stock goes down and so do you.

    People that own BP stations will go out of work. Now you pay for them with taxes.

    There is so muck more, but not time.


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