Sunday, June 27, 2010

Boycotting BP

The Chicago Tribune ran an article this weekend about the effect of the oil spill on independent owners of the BP franchises in the U.S. Many consumers are boycotting the local stations in protest over BP’s failures (for lack of a better word) in the Gulf, and the franchises are asking BP for help.

The article notes that BP doesn’t own very many gas stations in the U.S., so the boycotts are hurting local business owners much more than they are hurting BP. Here’s stuff I didn’t know:

“The biggest hit comes not from lost gas sales but from lost convenience store business. Owners like Juckniess make just pennies on a gallon of gas. But they might make up to 55 cents on a $1 cup of coffee. The margins on candy and chips are about 48 percent and 37 percent, respectively, Jeff Lenard of the National Association of Convenience Stores.

The boycott's impact on BP is limited. The company makes most of its money exploring and producing oil in places such as Angola, Egypt, the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

"The corner store is the face of BP, but by no means how BP gets its money," Lenard said.”

On the other hand, I personally like the concept of voting with my pocketbook. I could write to my Congressman, but I think Congress needs to hear from people that actually live in the Gulf much more than they need to hear from me.

Maybe I’ll just sneak over to my local BP for a car wash and a great big Diet Dr. Pepper.

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