Should Americans boycott BP stations?

Did you know that there is a Boycott BP page on Facebook? It is a part of the mounting outrage by Americans over the massive oil spill in the Gulf and it is affecting independent gas station owners. According to this AP article:
As more Americans shun BP gasoline as a form of protest over the Gulf oil spill, station owners are insisting BP do more to help them convince motorists that such boycotts mostly hurt independently owned businesses, not the British oil giant.

To win back customers, they'd like the company's help in reducing the price at the pump. ... Station owners and BP gas distributors told BP officials last week they need a break on the cost of the gas they buy, and they want help paying for more advertising aimed at motorists, according to John Kleine, executive director of the independent BP Amoco Marketers Association.
I think that the boycott is a bit of a two-edged sword - it may send a message to BP executives but it also hurts American small business owners that had nothing to do with the oil rig explosion and subsequent spillage. And I wonder how fair a BP reduction in gas prices would be to other oil companies.. not that I would mind lower gas prices mind you.

What do you think? Do you support the BP Boycott?


  1. Bob,

    I was in favor of the boycott until I read a couple of articles saying it really hurts small business owners much more than it hurts BP. I'm not sure when I'll pull into a BP station again though. I usually buy from UDF or Shell anyway and I don't buy very much gas since I don't drive much.

    I wish there were a direct way to express our outrage at BP. But, it seems there is not. Frustrating.

  2. We have GetGo stations here, which are connected to the Giant Eagle grocery store chain and as far as I can tell they don't get their fuel from BP. I'm not boycotting BP, but I'm not buying my gas there either because I get fuel perk discounts at GetGo. I too was in favor of the boycott until Brian posted the article about boycotts mainly hurting local small business owners.

  3. Hi Bob,

    What would boycotting BP do except hurt small business owners? Gas station operators don't make nearly as much profit off the gas as they do selling hot dogs and coffee and whatnot anyway. Take away the gas and the shops will close. For all its bumbling, BP is not the enemy. The world's ravenous thirst for fossil fuel is. And as Christians, we know our true enemies are not flesh and blood, but that evil which drives sin in our world.

    Some years ago a cry went out for Americans to boycott products from France because they wouldn't support our Iraq War initiative. At the time the only import from France I bought was the occasional package of goat cheese, so my boycott would have had no great effect anyway. But being a farm girl, I am keenly aware of the impact such a boycott would have on farmers and people who do not make (or support) the decisions of state, people who might lose their land and if they can't pay their bills. As I do not punish Americans for the bumbling acts of the U.S. government, I will not punish farmers in other countries who are trying to make an honest living and feed their children. Or a simple businessman who sells gasoline in order to put bread on the table for his children.

  4. Good comments all! I do agree with the sentiment of not penalizing BP station owners.. even though.. I cannot remember the last time I bought gas at BP since I get 3% off using my Conoco card.. and BP usually costs more than other stations.

  5. ARCO is the only BP station still in Washington State. They're several cents cheaper than most others, but it's cash or major credit card only. There are no ARCO gas cards. So I never shop there. Plus, they have a reputation for selling crappy gas.

    I'm glad to hear more about the potential impact of BP boycott. Much like the attempts to boycott Chevron for their close ties to the dictators in Burma and Exxon because of the Exxon Valdez spill.

  6. Boycotting BP stations would not mean that you'd never get BP fuel as all fuel is commingled in the distribution system before it gets to your local station.

    In fact, due to logistical considerations, it is possible that your local Exxon or Chevron or Shell is getting the majority of its supply from BP because they have the most refining capacity to supply your area or the pipeline that supplies your area.


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