Monday, June 14, 2010

Should American’s boycott BP gas stations or not considering BP hasn’t capped the leaking well yet?

Two days ago I wrote an article called “No sympathy or business for BP until BP plugs the well and begins to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf.” where I stated that until BP caps the well in the Gulf that is leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, they wouldn’t get any sympathy or business from me.

In specking on that, I was talking more about BP not getting an sympathy from America’s especially me considering after 50 days, BP has yet to cap the leaking well. However it is actually the “no business” part that has touched off a debate especially after what I wrote (said) in the last paragraph of that article:

“The point is, until BP caps the well and really begins to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf and where ever the oil goes, BP will not get any sympathy or business for me and I can imagine some U.S. citizens as well. I don’t even have to boycott there gas stations, there gas prices are making it automatic for me as the prices are 5 to 10 cents higher anyway. See, taxpayers are already paying for this oil spill at the pump. I will say it once and say it again, “plug the damn hole.””

After publishing the article, I received two comments that got me thinking, should American’s really boycott BP gas stations or not? And the “or not” part actually has to do with the fact that BP only owns about 10% of the gas stations with BP on them. The rest are private local business owners.

I know that here in Massachusetts, several stations all over the state has changed from one Gasoline Company to BP gasoline. Now I should also mention that since the oil spill in the Gulf, BP gas stations are 5 to 10 cents more expensive then another station in that particular town. (Picture on the right if on was taken by me 30 minutes from my home in Massachusetts a few weeks ago)

The first comment was against the boycott, where the person said “It's unfortunate Americans can't differentiate the corporate entity from their own local gas station owners. Not shopping at BP gas stations only hurts independent owners here in the states. BP owns barely 10% of its gas stations.”

On the flip side, the second comment said “I see that British Petroleum's corporate shills have been very busy. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of the profits from gasoline go to the oil companies, not the station owners. Besides, those station owners have a responsibility to switch to another oil company.”

Basically I understand what the first commenter said and I agree with the second commenter, so the way I see it is, each local gas station somewhat chooses what brand of gasoline they want. Meaning each gas station owner can choose between Shell, BP, Mobil, Hess, Gulf, Sunoco, Discount Gas and so on of what gasoline they want to sell. And the way I understand it, in most cases it’s the corporate company like BP that sets the prices and pockets most of the profits, so in a sense, you are buying gasoline at a BP gas station from BP, so a boycott right now what effect BP.

So I believe that American’s should boycott BP, that’s what we are doing in my family. However it’s worth mentioning again that “there gas prices are making it automatic for me as the prices are 5 to 10 cents higher anyway” And if gas station owners don’t like it, they can change companies.

So should American’s boycott BP gas stations or not, what’s your take?