Posted in: Opinion,
by Patrick DeHaan on May 27, 2010 11:58 AM
With all the hatred of BP going around lately, many have started Facebook groups or organized online petitions. Some have even sworn to boycott BP by avoiding their fuels and not making purchases at BP stations.
While I'm upset with not only BP, but the other companies involved (Transocean, Halliburton), I think to boycott BP will hurt BP very little but hurt America even more. You see, while BP has nearly 12,000 gasoline stations carrying the BP logo, most of the stations are not owned by BP, but by companies and individuals that are mostly local. Some companies in my area are local, own a handful of stations that carry the BP name, and support our local economy by providing jobs and paying taxes.
The problem is that boycotting BP is only boycotting the logo- beyond that, individuals have very little control over what fuel they want to buy. You could fill up at a branded station that does not carry the BP logo but are purchasing fuel refined and sold by BP. The cost here is that you'll be hurting your local economy more than anything else. Some BP owners have reported sales drops of 30% or more compared to normal volumes. This could result in layoffs, closures, and other things that some people may fail to realize.
Write letters, support legislation that will try to prevent matters like this, but I would suggest avoiding rash decisions such as boycotting that hurt your local area more than a big company. BP does billions of dollars in revenue each year, and will continue selling gasoline to stations who buy it. This is also why boycotting a brand because of high prices does not work. BP will simply lower their price and sell to other stations, who in turn will offer a lower price to motorists, and you'll fill up there to save money.
Think about it- you could payback BP by supporting new legislation- something that is much more far reaching than a boycott, or, you can continue with your boycott, leaving the company virtually untouched while hurting local distributors and stations that operate under the brand.
Make a smart decision- don't hurt your local store owners- support lawmakers in their quest to take aim at the bigger BP- the one partially at fault for the spill.