Skip to comments.The Futility of the BP Boycott
Posted on 06/14/2010 4:58:33 AM PDT by Kaslin
Liberal activists say that British Petroleum has shirked its responsibilities in dealing with the gulf oil spill, so theyve started a boycott of the company. Like many boycotts, this one doesnt seem to be very effective.
BP had the resources to drill and create this horrible disaster, now they have the responsibility to clean it up, said Levana Layedecker, Communications Director of Democracy for America, in a release. But, they won't do it on their own. They need to know we will make them pay one way or another.
Apparently, the $17.5 million a day ($1.2 billion in total) that BP has already paid isnt enough. The company continues to deny the extent of the problem, and is still playing games with the numbers, sentiments also expressed by our commander in Chief. Its not clear if Democracy for America, or Obama, wants BP to simply stop the spill, or pony up more money in the meantime. Whatever the case, Democracy for America and a host of other liberal groups are trying to impose punitive damages on the oil company with a widespread boycott of the companys gas stations.
Groups involved include Ralph Nader's consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, a 300,000-member Facebook group, a bizarre alliance between nu-metal band Korn and pop-icons the Backstreet Boys, in addition to activists such as Jesse Jackson and Cindy Sheehan. Their methods vary from simply encouraging followers to buy elsewhere, to donating money for tacky bumper stickers that say Boycott BP: AnyoneButBP.com.
If it seems futile, thats because it is, says one industry insider who spent 25 years in the business.
When someone says, I want to boycott BP, the person you wind up hurting is the guy who lives in the community, buys the pages in the high school year book, and the cookies from the girl scouts. So, not hes representing the evil BP, he said. What I think they ought to do instead is start walking.
In other words, boycotting certain gas stations only stands to harm individual gas station owners, not the larger company. Thats because individual stations that have the BP logo on them may or may not buy from a BP gas distributor. More importantly, stations that dont have the BP logo are just as likely to buy from a BP distributor. A host of liberal media outlets, from the New York Times to Time magazine, have pointed out the futility of a boycott.
You see their market dropping significantly already. Americans are already dissatisfied with BP, said Nicolas Loris, a research assistant at the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. I dont think a boycott is going to enhance that message any more than what the marketplace is already doing.
One relevant example is the boycott of Citgo, which is owned by Venezuela. In 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made controversial remarks about the United States' war in Iraq, which led many activists to call for abandoning Citgo fuel. That boycott accomplished virtually nothing except for a temporary downswing in business for locally-owned gas stations.
Its easy to think that walking away from a store leads to decreased revenues for that product, but thats simply not the way it works when it comes to the oil and gas industries, said Loris. Things like consumer protests and government regulation simply dont have the oomph to deal with the problem.
BP is to blame, and theyre responsible for the spill, but the unfortunate thing is that they dont have the technology to deal with the leak, said Loris. Meddling isnt going to fix that problem.
An eminently sensible piece of text. The oil drama is a tragedy, but one not willed by any sensible person, nor in-, nor outside of BP. So a boycott, by sheer logic, will mean only further harm, particularly to those who can’t defend themselves that well.
That the current POTUS seems to have a slightly twisted view on events is an entirely different story, discussed elsewhere on these forums.
-—personally, I had been avoiding BP since the silly “Beyond Petroleum” hogwash-—now, I’d probably buy there (if there were any in my area) because they need the money—
Not only that, but the 0bamaadministration is actively stopping efforts to control the leak. 17 nations have offered assistance, all refused by the 0bama team. They refuse to grant permits to make sand berm barriers to provide another level of protection. Hundreds of miles of oil boom sit in warehouses untouched awaiting the OK from the 0bama administration to deploy, but the OK isn’t coming.
There’s a BP fuel terminal near me. The gas comes in by way of an underground pipeline and trucks from a bunch of different companies buy the gas for distribution to gas stations around the area.
In other words, boycotting BP stations only harms cashiers but people are buying the same gas when they “stick it to the man” by filling up across the street.
Assuming the boycotters actually hurt BP.
They want to drive them broke and then pay restitution? Logical?
Much to BP’s credit they are willing to voluntarilly pay for expenses beyond their legal liability cap, even though they don’t have to. That is a responsible company who I wish to support. Accidents are going to happen, but I have yet to see any indications that BP isn’t going to make things right in the long run.
Bravo! A voice of sanity in this whole thing.
—yep—it’s like that thing that wandered around the Internet for years about “everybody boycott Exxon for a day”—
The only reason I “boycott” BP is because the only BP station in town is too far out of my way.
Here’s a map of Michigan gasoline pipelines. The first thing you’ll notice is how few there are. There used to be more pipelines and more refineries but liberalism is trying to drive them to extinction.
You’ll also notice the concentration of terminals and pipelines at Detroit. The people most likely to obey Obama are the ones with the most to lose.
Please elaborate. There may well be information I haven’t read yet, but what I have read is that BP has stated repeatedly that they will voluntarilly pay all legitimate claims without regard to their liability cap.
I been filling up at BP now, no lines!
It's giant bookkeeping game.