I'll come up with something in a minute.

BP Boycott

Let’s look at the problem of s boycott of BP seriously for a moment. Now, I won’t go into the problems of boycotting gas stations (most of which are owned by small business owners barely scraping by with food and cigarette sales) because others have gone into that. I won’t even go into the problem of directly boycotting BP at all. Others have already beat that horse and I think its dead. I want to address the problem of how can you be sure that you are actually boycotting BP?

Let’s go with something on my desk, a can of Pringles, yeah, that’ll do. Let’s have a look at the can, shall we?

DSC04041
Yup, Sour cream and onion.

Colorful cardboard tube with foil inside and a plastic cap. What’s the point I hear some asking.

Some of the chemicals that process paper are petroleum based. At least, they can be. The chemicals that go into dyes, emulsifier for those dyes, and so on are also petroleum or can be based on petroleum. The plastic coating on the outside of the tube, the inside of the tube, the cap itself are all obviously petroleum based.

That’s one can of Pringles. Unless I call Proctor & Gamble and demand they tell me where the printers, tube makers and cap makers get the materials for their products, it’s useless my demanding where they get the fuel to gas up their trucks. Go a head and put “Petroleum By-Products” into your favorite search engine, then try to figure out were the makers of each of those by-products gets their raw materials. You’d have better luck trying not to buy things that were made in China.

BP has hundreds of subsidiaries. Hundreds. They sell to almost every industry on the planet, in one way or another. This is a big group people, it’s more than the consumer’s price point at the gas station.

This is why the dream of “Let the market sort it out” is a dream. No matter how mad you are at BP, you can’t hunt down all the things that might have BP’s product in them. Not unless you dedicate your life to the prospect. I’m sorry to burst your little “Power to the Consumer” bubble, but it’s not realistic in this case. If you don’t buy BP gas, you’re only hurting someone who barely makes pennies on the gallon and might make nothing if you use a credit card, since the service fees literally erase their profits in some places.

The only thing you can do is to get really angry and make sure everyone knows how angry you are about this. Hope that Obama and company are as socialist as the conservatives said he was because the only thing that can beat down an offender that large is a government that’s just as big as them. I really hate to tell you this, but this company is so big that you not fueling at a BP station isn’t going to hurt them very much. We’ve got to make sure that they understand the full depth of our outrage. Write a letter to your senator, and get your friends to do the same. Make the government take their assets, sell off their company and use the money to pay for the clean up. Get these people arrested, and make sure they do time in a jail in a state that was directly affected by their monstrous spill. Don’t just take your business elsewhere, but get out the goddamn pitchforks and wave some bloody torches.

Hell if you really want to start something, buy BP stock. Then you’ll be a shareholder, which is about the only group these people actually feel they’re answerable too anymore. You can do it, but not just by deciding to buy gas somewhere else. And it’s not like Exxon is some paragon of environmental friendliness either. I mean, where are you going to go for that gas? Pretty much all the oil companies suck the big one on that point, BP just seems to be the worst.

June 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment