Are you planning to boycott BP?

As of May 5, the Associated Press reported there didn’t appear to be a consumer backlash against BP. Some commenters on our own Biz Beat blog said accidents happened and the overall feeling on the blog on May 5 wasn’t too angry.

However, 22 days later I’ve been hearing more moms talking about boycotting BP. I kept hearing snippets at the school picnic on Wednesday of moms reminding other moms not to stop at the BP. I also was involved in a conversation about it at the Kroger gas station.

What are you hearing and seeing in your community? Are you planning to boycott BP?

159 comments Add your comment

iRun

May 28th, 2010
12:37 am

Yep, sure am. I was born and raised in south Louisiana and have a lot of family there.

No BP. And yes, I still expect them to pay for the clean up, even if a boycott means they go broke.

But they won’t go broke.

G.R.I.T.S.

May 28th, 2010
7:04 am

their stupidity is killing oceans…i dont use BP anyway so i wont be doing anything any differently. so many people are suffering from the negligence of this company-there is no telling what the final damage is going to be to the people and to the ocean life. it is atrocious that this happened. the whole thing is a huge huge screw up.

Jeff

May 28th, 2010
7:06 am

I don’t PLAN to boycott them. Mostly because my experience has been that boycotts don’t actually accomplish anything other than to make the boycott-ers feel good about themselves that they are doing something. Sorry, iRun. I know it affects you personally and you are within your right to boycott and you are certainly free to do that. It’s just not something I’m going move up on my list of important stuff to do.

I’ll even offer this question: If BP gas prices were to be reduced 25%-50% lower than everyone else, would you buy the product?

Andrea

May 28th, 2010
8:03 am

I have to agree with Jeff. If BP lowered its prices after hearing rumblings of a boycott, I would bet my paycheck a lot of the boycotters would have second thoughts.

@iRun: I will pray for your friends and family in the area. It is going to take a lot of time to recover but if that is the intent of your friends and family, I pray they are able to do so.

motherjanegoose

May 28th, 2010
8:20 am

I have not heard a peep about this. I buy my gas at Costco, Kroger and once in a while Qwik Trip.

Good point about the discount. Many shop Wal Mart ( and yes, I worked there for 7 years over 30 years ago…store # 76 way before it was a supercenter) but whine about the smaller businesses diminishing…..HELLO?

I chuckle at folks who tell me they are getting some of their prescriptions for FREE. This is called a loss leader, I believe. Most folks will not just purchase their prescription when they WALK INTO the store. Do they even have a drive through at the Wal Mart Pharmacy? If they can afford to offer this perk, good for them. BUT you most likely WILL be purchasing something else, while you are in there. Not much is actually free!

JudyRFC

May 28th, 2010
9:58 am

Jeff, you probably are right to be cynical.
That being said, unless you do something, anything, you are not contributing anything other than a whine. So you can just sit with your hands folded and play the victim card, or put in the effort to make change.
Even something as small as starting a dialog is better than not doing anything.
As for the power of the almighty buck: yes, many folks would ignore the ethical choice if it meant paying less, and who knows, being able to let your family function in this economic climate. Still, there are those who will make the choice to send a message. It’s entirely up to you to make the choice.

Here’s a good group to join on FB for anyone who’s interested:
Boycott BP

Uconn

May 28th, 2010
11:06 am

I will boycott them… Qwiktrip’s gas is cheaper anyway… but everytime I see those Dawn commercials with them washing the animals free of oil, it breaks my heart! I went out and bought a whole bunch of Dawn soap bc they say they donate $1 to help clean animals…. such a sad sad thing. So sorry to say this but if you were one of the ones who chanted ‘Drill baby Drill’, they are waiting for you in the gulf to help with clean up efforts… Just because it may not affect us or our children we have to be concerned with what we do to this planet… So sad….

Truth

May 28th, 2010
11:11 am

I wont use any other gas than BP. IT’s not arab oil, it’s British Petroleum. I will continue to use BP and support their efforts to clean up their mess.

I will not put crappy Walmart, Kroger or Costco gas in my car. Their gas is filthy and every time I put QT gas in my car, the engine knocks.

I’ll stick with BP. They have accepted responsibility for the oil spill and they are trying to come up with a solution. You have to remember, that leak is A MILE under the surface of the water. It is freezing down there, no light at all….

When a company claims responsibility, and doesn’t point fingers, that to me, is a good company. A few of our elected officials could take a lesson from them.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 28th, 2010
11:19 am

How exactly do you people plan on boycotting them? Do you think that all the gas that BP drills and refines ONLY goes to BP gas stations? That’s not how it works. All the gas from the gas companies get traded as a commodity. Your local Exxon, Chevron, BP, Phillips gas stations DON’T discriminate from whom they purchase their gas. It’s very likely that the fuel you purchased from your local Mobil station was harvested and refined by an oil company OTHER than Mobil…and seeing how BP is one of the largest oil companies in the world, you should know that you will be buying fuel harvested by them no matter where you go…it’s just the way the business is.

The only REAL way to boycott BP is to boycott gas and our oil dependent needs. Who’s ready to do that? Theresa, are you driving the kids to the museum this summer for their outings or walking them to the bus stop and taking a solar powered mass transportation vehicle? I have a feeling you’ll be in the minivan with the AC cranking. Nice idealism though.

motherjanegoose

May 28th, 2010
11:24 am

@ truth…I am sincere in this question…will my 2007 Chevy Malibu actually run better or last longer if I use BP gas and not the gas at Costco?

penguinmom

May 28th, 2010
11:25 am

I currently purchase my gas from Kroger or QT. So I’m not going to go out of my way to purchase BP oil but I won’t specifically boycott the company either. There are risks to any energy enterprise. We just have to weigh the risks against the benefits. Until we come up with a viable alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles (and, no electric is not a viable alternative) we need oil and that means someone somewhere has to drill for it.

penguinmom

May 28th, 2010
11:26 am

@Tiger, well said.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 28th, 2010
11:35 am

@MJG, UCONN, penguinmom, truth……buying from Kroger’s, Costco, Walmart, Qwiktrip gas stations….you guys are still buying BP oil! You need to realize that!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 28th, 2010
11:38 am

@MJG…in all likelihood, a significant proportion of the the gas at Costco was drilled for and brought to market by BP. There may be some refining differences and different distributors, but for the most part the is NO difference between the gas provided by any gas station…..actually if you do some reasearch you’ll also find there is virtually no difference between the premium stuff and the regular stuff either. It’s all marketing to get the consumer to purchase their product.

motherjanegoose

May 28th, 2010
12:01 pm

@ tiger…thanks. I AM clear on the fact that gas can come from anywhere. I was unclear as to whether gas at certain stations is actually BETTER gas.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 28th, 2010
12:07 pm

@MJG…..my bad then, I assumed that when you said “I buy my gas at Costco, Kroger and once in a while Qwik Trip”, that you were under the assumption that you were not indirectly supporting BP.

YUKI

May 28th, 2010
12:17 pm

I’m from South Louisiana as well, and I’m not planning on boycotting BP. I have several friends who’s husbands work offshore, some for BP. This was an accident, and all though they may not have handled it as well as some would hope, I have faith that they will do their part for the clean up effort. The people of Louisiana are suffering, yes. Having family and friends there makes it all the more real. Getting up in arms about “boycotting” your local gas station is not going to do anything useful.

Mattie

May 28th, 2010
12:26 pm

None of the “BP” gas stations in GA are owned by the corporation. They are all individually owned by small business owners trying to make a living. Boycotting BP will only hurt the little guy, not the ones responsible for the oil leak.

motherjanegoose

May 28th, 2010
12:32 pm

@ tiger….No biggy, I was just mentioned where I “shop”.

Dingy

May 28th, 2010
12:48 pm

Every time I see the tanker truck re-filling at my Costco it has a BP sticker on the door – I kid you not! Does that mean I should also boycott Costco?

Becky

May 28th, 2010
1:28 pm

Amen Tiger..You are 100% correct..No, I won’t boycott BP, but I won’t go out of my way to use their gas..Since there aren’t any BP’s within miles of me, this isn’t a problem..

@MJG..No, gas from one station isn’t any better than gas from another station..My ex works in the petroleum industry and I learned this from him (via others) ..

@Dingy (and others)..Never put gas in your car while the tanker truck is there..While they are dumping gas into the storage tanks, it stirs up dust and other setiments that go into your car..

Sorry if there are any typos or mispellings in my post, I’m not at my usual keyboard..

Esq.

May 28th, 2010
1:46 pm

No, I will not “boycott” BP. I’ll admit that I don’t regularly shop BP for gasoline unless traveling and it happens to be the most convenient place for gasoline. This won’t change.

JATL

May 28th, 2010
2:24 pm

@ Tiger -thank you! That’s one of the main reasons I won’t boycott BP. The disaster in the gulf makes me nauseous, but BP oil goes to a number of different distributors, and they had contracted the drilling on that rig out to a different company that should have been more proactive in making sure all of their equipment was in good shape. I DO think they should be responsible, because in the end their name is on it, and we’ll probably never know the real truth about how hawkish they were about watching their contractor’s practices (hmmmm -bet that might change).At this point, I just really don’t see what good boycotting BP is going to do except for perhaps giving me or someone else personal satisfaction. There are TONS of BP station owners out there who depend on their BP gas station and quick mart for their livelihoods -I don’t think they need to be punished. I don’t go out of my way to buy BP and have never had any engine differences from using gas anywhere (even when driving high performance cars). However, BP is the most convenient station to me leaving my neighborhood in both directions, so I do use them a good bit.

iRun

May 28th, 2010
4:06 pm

Well, first, to answer Jeff, even if they lowered their prices I wouldn’t buy their gas. I’m fairly well-off, enough so that I’d gladly pay $10/gal prices if it was somehow lab created extra special magical environmentally friendly and likes kittens. Even if I had to buy gas twice a week. So, there’s no financial incentive for me.

As for Tiger’s point, I understand and already knew that. However, it’s more of a statement. I also plan to put pressure on my legislators and sign petitions, etc, support efforts to wean this country off all oil. I would gladly support nationalizing our oil industry so that all oil drilled off the US coast belongs to the US…we might allow private companies to harvest it, for a fee. Or some kind of public/private partnership.

However, ALL this being said…I rarely ever drive. One of the reasons I moved to my neighborhood in the city was so that I could bike to work. So, 2 days a week I telework and the other 3 days I either bike or run. Right now I am recovering from marathoning so I am not running the 5.5 mile one-way route.

So, I buy gas maybe once a month. Probably more like every 6 weeks. If I tank up (26 gallon tank in the minivan) then I might go 2 months.

JATL

May 28th, 2010
4:39 pm

@iRun -I completely agree with your first paragraph. I also wish they wouldn’t do any off-shore drilling, and if that makes prices and supply out of reach, then maybe industry and the government will be FORCED to find alternatives and find them NOW!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

May 28th, 2010
4:43 pm

@irun…so basically, you’re NOT boycotting BP. I mean, that’s the end result. Your first post was “yep, sure am”. but understanding that any time you buy gas you are most likely buying a BP product even though you’re not buying it from a BP station, AND understanding that you’re less dependent on oil than the average American, then what you’re prepared to do, and the civil response you’re prepared to take is……well……nothing more than you were doing the day before the Deep Horizon exploded.

I’m sure all that family you spoke of in LA who are affected by this tragedy are touched at the lengths you’re prepared to go.

Gary Lux

May 28th, 2010
10:08 pm

I haven’t purchase a single gallon of gas from Exxon since the Valdez spill – And you can bet that BP will never get a dime from me again! I’d rather ride my bicycle thank you.

penguinmom

May 28th, 2010
10:50 pm

@Tiger, I’m with MJG in that I knew gas could come from any supplier. I should have said ‘I wont’ go out of my way to purchase gas at at BP gas station.’ :-)
I actually wish we would get a refinery here in GA so that we could accept oil shipments from Atlantic ports and refine them here in GA. It would keep us from having another situation like the hurricane (Ike?) that shut down oil refineries and caused our gas prices to go through the roof.

iRun

May 29th, 2010
9:10 am

Tiger, my civic response is nothing? I moved out of a large house in the burbs to a much smaller ones in the city so I could be less oil dependent I made a lifestyle commitment to making my contribution to the oil industry as small as possible.

However, that being said, unless BP sells it’s oil to Exxon or Shell or Chevron, then I won’t be buying BP’s oil. The closest stations to my house are a BP and a Chevron (or maybe it’s an Exxon). Guess which one I don’t go to?

At least now.

But just because my financial impact on this company isn’t anything even close to a flying gnat in the eyes doesn’t mean I shouldn’t act. Again, I’ll put my money where my agenda is, and that’s towards legislators who support greener energy produced from the US. That’s where I hope to have impact.

But as a coastal native it’s my sensibilities that demand I don’t buy BP.

motherjanegoose

May 29th, 2010
9:14 am

@ irun, I respect and appreciate the fact that you do not need to drive, as much as some of the rest of us. I have clients all over the metro Atlanta area and carry WAY too much stuff with me to walk or ride a bike. I cannot even take Marta to the airport, as I have TWO 50 pound suitcases to wrangle with and my carry on.

I remember, right after 911, many said, ” I do not need to fly on an airplane…”

Fine, but some of us do and some of those who do not fly depend on those who do fly (to meetings) to learn things and bring them back: medical, product development, research etc.

Am I the only one who purchases products that are trucked in with gas?

If my world included the places that I could bicycle to or walk, it would be kind of small.

cars-R-coffins

May 29th, 2010
12:52 pm

@Irun, I am with you, at 48 years old, I bike commute from the North Decatur area 30 miles round trip to my job (high school physics teacher)- I am former bike messenger during my college days so I can’t even think of getting to my job any other way than human powered. One more bike = one less car = one less oil addict. I try generally to boycott Americas’ addiction to oil, and obesity. Oh, BTW I weigh the same as I did as when I was in the military in 1982 and my resting heart beat is less than my age! I love my bicycle(s)!

Boycott - YES

May 29th, 2010
1:17 pm

And I’ll urge legislators to develop, promote, and fund alternate energy sources. Big oil = lobbyists, big money, special interests, bribes, payoffs, etc. It’s an uphill climb.

DavidS

May 29th, 2010
1:32 pm

I certainly have no problems with boycotts. My wife and I have been boycotting Proctor and Gamble for over 20 years in protest of the 50,000 innocent animals they kill every year in “product safety” tests that virtually all of their competitors found alternatives to years ago. They are the scum of the earth kind of company.

That being said, let us not forget that the Federal Government passed a law capping liability for oil companies for just this sort of accident. So long as that cap exists, one cannot expect it to not negatively impact the behavior of the company. Why bother making sure you have the right protections in place to keep the fishing industry safe when your liability cap is 75 million dollars? Why do anything more than what might cost 75 million dollars?

While I am not saying anything positive about BP, let us not forget the role the Federal Government played in this by alleviating BP of any responsibility beyond 75 million dollars.

In the Free Market – if we actually had one – a company would be TOTALLY liable for the damages they caused. Thanks to a failed regulatory system (arent’ they all) and a system of CRONY CAPITALISM that allows politically connected businesses to use the power and lawmaking ability of the government to absolve them of responsibility, we have the situation we have today.

If you are going to boycott BP, then in all fairness you must also boycott the failed Federal Government, for they are surely as much to blame for this disaster as BP. They set up the economic conditions that influenced BP actions regarding prevention, spill control, and environmental protection.

No, this is not a stab at Obama or his administration. Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for they both believe in the failed regulatory state and using the power of government to absolve businesses from their responsibility to the public. Both parties should be boycotted in the next and every future election.

Doug

May 29th, 2010
1:34 pm

To all those who plan to boycott BP-

You are welcome to do so. It is your option.

While you are at it, get rid of your computers, cell phones, some of your clothes, etc. They are all made from petroleum derivatives provided by BP among others.

None of us wanted to see this happen.

DavidS

May 29th, 2010
1:37 pm

And by the way, government subsidies of “alternative energy” sources are just as much of a problem as the current subsidies of oil and the pro-oil energy policy. It is not the role of the government to promote any business or industry except by cutting taxes and regulations to all business and industry.

Just look at ethanol. This horrible alternative to oil is more costly to produce, takes food out of the food supply, and is ultimately worse on the overall environment than oil. But since folks like the powerful Tom Harkin are from corn-producing states like Iowa, the well-documented failure of ethanol production continues to receive billions and billions of our tax dollars to support the industry. That is the problem with the Crony Capitalism system (yes, that’s what we have, not Free Market Capitalism – I wish more people would understand that).

RJ

May 29th, 2010
1:45 pm

@ iRun Chevron = Hugo Chavez; and LOL at the “fairly well off” proclamation.
The psyche of certain posters is amusing, as well as disturbing.

Brian

May 29th, 2010
2:19 pm

Doug, don’t forget to add things like dishwashing soap, shampoo, and tires to the list.

Sloan

May 29th, 2010
2:57 pm

All of you are ignoring the most accurate statement on this blog so far: Mattie had it right. Boycotting BP stations in the South that are owned by independent businessmen who are part of our local communities is really not going to be very effective. It will hurt these business owners much more than the corporation that is BP. And those business owners who happen to have the misfortune of flying the BP franchise banner are no more responsible for this disaster than you and I are.

P

May 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

Thank God only 39 comments on this stupid question in a little over a day (of which about half are just from uninformed people).

I will renew my desire to boycott dumb, uneducated people. Unfortunately there are so many of them.

motherjanegoose

May 29th, 2010
3:24 pm

P…curious, do you consider me informed or uniformed? I know VERY little about the big picture of petroleum. What I do know is that so many things are a bigger picture than most folks I meet ( and here) actually realize…does that make sense?

stephanie

May 29th, 2010
3:29 pm

yup, definately boycotting BP.

outspoken1

May 29th, 2010
3:52 pm

rest assured….ALL major brands of Gasoline will raise their prices to help BP swallow this bitter pill.
It would be little surprising that O’bama doesn’t give BP a little tarp money to help them with the clean up.

BE 100% SURE THAT WE ARE ALL PAYING FOR THIS CLEAN UP…..NOT BP!!!

awfox

May 29th, 2010
3:58 pm

Let us not forget…the person (business) most sorry that this happened is BP!! You know every time they see the camera showing all their profits pooring into the ocean they cry alligator tears.

Get over it folks it was/is an accident. And by the way if Obama thinks he can fix this when BP has not (so far)…how funny is that. To throw money at this when America is already broke turns my stomach.

Billy O

May 29th, 2010
5:12 pm

If you want BP to be able to pay for the clean up, you had better support BP…..not boycott them. If you want to boycott somebody choose Citgo and GE.

The Cynical White Boy

May 29th, 2010
5:18 pm

This news bulletin just in….

Obama has invited the Oil Spill and the Gulf of Mexico up to the White House for a beer (at our expense of course).

Obama will smooth talk both of them into resolving their differences, then the 3 of them will pose for CNN and the AJC and sing “Kum Ba Yah”, followed immediately by the pre-emptive awarding of the next Peace Prize to our wonderful leader Comrade Obama for solving this latest crisis.

David McCarthy

May 29th, 2010
5:48 pm

You can’t boycott….BP
WE ARE ALL GUILTY for using CHEAP GAS & oil products………..cars, air transport, eye glasses, shoes etc. and so on…………………….
We would be shooting ourselves in the foot, and normal people know that.
It is our thirst by …….THE AMERICAN PEOPLE is why BP is in the gulf in the first place.
United States needs BP and other oil companies to feed there glutten desire for oil.

Mary

May 29th, 2010
8:26 pm

Yes, I will boycott ARco. And I am making a difference. I have a Prius and usually wave as I go past gas staton. Do I feel morally superior? You bet I do!!! I do not drink water out of plastic and buy my mayo the only place that still has it in glass where I shop, trader Joe. I take my own bags to the stores. Will it make a difference? Just me, no, but millions would. But this country is too lazy and too involved in their big machines. Shame on all of you who do not do more.

Anti-Tree Humper

May 29th, 2010
8:56 pm

wow…I feel intellectually inferior to you Mary…not….hows that “global warming” thing working out for you? Please dont push your “I am better than you because I take my own bags to the Trader Joes” crap. I bet you buy that 8 dollar organic stuff that has been proven to have no advantage over the regular stuff.

If we all should “boycott” a gas station it should be Citgo. No need to send more money to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. I like BP gas and it helps my car run smoother and get better miles. Please boycott, it will make the lines at BP much easier to negotiate.

I own a toyota and when the company was getting raked over by the imperial federal government. I got a letter in the mail apologizing for the events that were going on and I was more than welcome to bring my car back for a trade in if I had lost confidence in the vehicle. I love companies who take responsibility for their actions. Only if politicians did this.

DB

May 30th, 2010
9:46 am

No, I am not planning to boycott BP — what purpose would that serve? It was an ACCIDENT, a force of nature called a “blowout.” I don’t think anyone in the world thinks that BP did this on purpose. Why is it that if a person has accident, it’s simply a matter of a “perfect storm” of circumstances, but if an accident happens to a company, suddenly the company is evil, manipulative and greedy and “should have been able to anticipate it”? Hypocritical thinking at its finest.

Ironically, if BP had been allowed to drill closer to shore, instead of being forced out into deep water, this spill may have been capped weeks ago. But because environmentalist pressure pushed the oil drilling so far offshore, the measures that would have probably worked in shallower waters are ineffective in deep water. Oops . . .

BP can’t win in this situation. If the leak is capped, then you better bet that current federal government administration will take credit for it in some form or fashion. If it isn’t capped quickly, then it’s all BP’s fault.

I haven’t set foot in a Citgo, however, since Huge Chavez started running his mouth.

tbug

May 31st, 2010
10:35 am

yes, I will boycott bp, this is a terriable disaster. This was an accident that could have been preveted! How does BP get away with not having equipent inspected for four years. If the company does not have any preventitive measures in place, they should not have been allowed to continue. This is a devistation to wild life, food and jobs.