Boycott BP: Can It Be Done Right?

Illustration for article titled Boycott BP: Can It Be Done Right?

You'd think Boycotting BP would send a message to the company incapable of stopping the oilpocalypse in the Gulf of Mexico, right? Wrong. Most stations aren't even owned by BP. They're just locally-owned small businesses. But is there another way?

BP owns just a fraction of the more than 11,000 stations across the U.S. that sell its fuel under the BP, Amoco and ARCO banners. Most are owned by local businessmen whose primary connection to the oil company is the logo and a contract to buy gasoline.

Ironically, the biggest hit comes not from lost gas sales but from lost convenience store business. Owners make just pennies on a gallon of gas but they make up to 55 cents on a $1 cup of coffee.


So although websites and Facebook pages advocating a BP boycott popped up almost immediately after oil started spewing into the Gulf in late April, we think it's just hurting our own local communities.

If a boycott of BP stations isn't the way to go — is there another way? What about boycotting other BP products like motor oil? Is that just a drop in the bucket? Is there a way to punish British Petroleum for spilling all that good go-faster dino-juice by the tens-of-thousands-of-barrels into the Gulf of Mexico? Better yet, should we? Doesn't a BP Boycott just put money in another pocket of big oil? Is Exxon any better? Before we go flying off the handle — let's talk about it. What do you think?

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BP has a surprisingly-helpful guide as to which brands to avoid: []