Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Leave BP alone

Ha ha, yes, you must think I'm off my rocker, but seriously, I'm referring to the gas stations and not the company itself. Do what you will with BP, but protesting BP gas stations only hurts the independent business owners that have been left high and dry by BP.

British Petroleum's pockets are deep enough to leave their franchise owners totally in the lurch, the end result is that these small business owners, many of them immigrants, will lose their livelihoods with little effect on BP as a whole. Not purchasing "BP gas" most likely won't do much in the long run because BP sells their oil on the international oil market, not just directly to their gas stations.

From what I've been hearing, these small businesses are hurting from people boycotting their gas stations and are getting no support from BP. So, what do you think? Are boycotts of the stations sending BP a message or do you think it makes a difference?


Beth @ Fake Plastic Fish said...

What I think is what I wrote on my blog today. Who cares who we buy our gas from? The point is to stop consuming so much petroleum in the first place.

Plus, I got to use the word "zombies" in my post. But it wasn't my idea.

Lynn from said...

Deanna, I've had the same thought...and I'm so glad you posted about this. The issue is not with the little guy on the street corner. People are angry and they need to funnel that anger into action - or go ride a bike, walk, or run!

On the other hand, I would like to see all the BP execs' kids cancelling summer tennis camp to go clean up the gulf (if that's even possible...)!


Tina Cardone said...

In case Greenpa still isn't feeling well I thought I'd post his great idea for him:

Basically the idea is to support the community while boycotting BP by helping the local stations switch suppliers.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Until we stop consuming so much petroleum and petroleum based products BP will not be bothered by us little guys.

Katy said...

Not that there are any BP stations around me, but I have to agree I don't see how boycotting the gas stations would make a difference. BP doesn't care about the people who work on their rigs.. the people whose lives they hold in their hands... what makes you think they'll care about a franchize owner?

Unknown said...

Ditching or divorcing the car is a huge step in the right direction: start riding your bikes, walk, do with less. It's the oil-dependent mindset we aim to shift. You do a good job Crunchy!
I try to do something similar with my blog-coming at it from an 'unschooling' point of view.

surban said...

I agree with you. My father-in-law owns a gas station and sells BP gas. The station has been in the family for over 50 years. He didn't choose BP, he chose Standard Oil, which was bought out by Amoco and then BP.
His station is full service. (Yes, he still goes out and pumps gas, checks oil and washes the windows) The station is the only place in a 40 mile radius that sells milk or bread and most of his business comes from small family farms. He loads up the gas truck and drives right out on the fields to gas up the farm machinery.
The station employs a few people in their small town and generously gives back to the community in so many ways.
Boycotting gas stations that sell BP only hurts people like my father-in-law, his employees and the community.
Another thing to consider is that many regional chain gas stations use BP gas, they just don't have BP signage.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Like Surban said you can't truly boycott BP gas if you wanted to because BP sells their product to independent gas stations that don't advertise that they sell BP gas.

We need to hold BP accountable for the cleanup and the costs involved. We also have to hold our federal government responsible for not acting quickly on this or helping the states that have asked for help. Why hasn't this been declared a National Disaster yet?

Laura said...

Boycott gas. Period. The end. Seriously. How bad does it have to get before we act?
And go buy a whole lot of bread and milk from the guy who still has a full service gas station who delivers to farmers.

Marino said...

At least the US govt. has the funds to do something about their states that are effected. But what about the countries/islands on the other side of the gulf that we never seem to here about in the news. like um Mexico and most of those central american countries that are largely below the poverty line. whose helping them??

Oh that's right. Mexico's not a superpower, guess they don't count then.

ThinkFeminist said...

I agree with you! We should totally allow BP gas stations be. I will however not tell anyone to buy from BP, i really do not care. But please dont stage a riot at local gas stations, its not fair to the small business owners.

Safe Home Happy Mom

Roberto said...

I'm with crstn85; I really like Greenpa's idea- which I haven't seen anywhere else.

Here's a shorter link:

The problem with NOT boycotting (which I agree is bad, if it's hurting the small business guys) is that you are STILL sending BP a message: "we don't care."

Greenpa's way builds community, rather than polarizes; and the message to BP is very clear.

Also - you know who says, loudest, that boycotts don't hurt BP? That would be BP. I'm not sure I believe them, you know?

For those who want "everyone to just use less, or quit" - your right, of course. But that message is a non-starter, if you actually want to motivate anyone to do anything.

Jenna said...

Eh, in my case I drive by the BP stations for a far simpler reason - their gas is usually .05+ more than the other stations in town, and frankly I get worse gas mileage when I use their gas.

Beyond that, the only thing I'm doing now is the same thing I was doing before the whole thing happened - use less gas, make it go further, WALK.

The only good thing I'm really seeing at the moment coming from the whole mess is it seems a lot more folks are coming to the same conclusion.

Laura said...

Roberto, why is boycotting gas in general a 'non-starter'. It seems to me that is basically what No Impact Man and Greenpa, Crunchy and Fake Plastic Fish are basically doing. I'm not putting them on a pedistal as perfect but they have gotten their oil consumption down to nil basically, I'm pretty sure. And both have started tons of people on the same path, myself included.
Sharon Astyk talks about the sacrifices made during WW1(rationing) and during the civil rights movement(letting the bus pass by and walking to make a point). What I'm asking is ...why is it out of the question that we cut back the amount of oil we consume in a huge way?

Roberto said...

Laura- sorry, didn't mean we shouldn't/can't cut back! We certainly can/should.

What i meant to say is >telling< people; "you must cut back" just doesn't communicate. For most of the folks who really need to hear that; its an instant turn off. They quit listening, and some of them will then go play on their ATV or jetski all day, just to get back at you.

I think a lot of folks are on a knife edge right now, because of the spill. They can see clearly that its really horrible when it goes wrong. Down on the Gulf, they probably all know someone whos business is ruined, and they're angry about that.

I think it is a good time to not push people in that position; they could fall off the knife edge, and on the wrong side, just because they're human and don't like being told what to do.

what No Impact Man and Greenpa, Crunchy and Fake Plastic Fish are doing- leading by example - can be a lot more effective, especially if they don't get pushy about it.

Allie said...

I never thought it was logical to boycott BP gas stations, not only because it hurts the livelihood of the station owners, but because boycotting stations with their name doesn't stop you from getting their oil. That's just not how it works.