Now is not the time to stop buying BP gas

Yes, I hate them just like everyone else in Louisiana. Yes if I could get my hands around their CEO’s neck it would not be a pretty picture. Yes, I am devastated to see Louisiana wildlife and everything that goes with it destroyed beyond what any of us can really believe. But frankly, now is not the time for Americans to stop purchasing BP gasoline and products.

The radio station was asked last week to allow C-SPAN to simulcast one of our 3 hour local shows that has been on top of the disaster since the rig first blew. They stated they really wanted a independent view from a media outlet. Most of the major radio stations in New Orleans are owned by corporate giants that frankly will not allow their on-air host to take on other large corporations. Watching each other’s back kind of thing I think. I understand, I’ve worked for a couple of those media corporations, it’s always about the bottom line. We allow C-SPAN to simulcast us and the response from the American people was really outstanding. The viewers/listeners that called the program, from Alaska to Maine, all seemed to understand the critical development that the Louisiana marshes provide to the entire Gulf of Mexico.

That being said, I was also confused by some and here’s my point. Many many callers stated they have stopped buying BP gasoline and would continue to avoid the company and it’s goods. Yet at the same time they all stated they wanted to help anyway that they could. The main way to help is to continue to buy BP gas. And if you haven’t in the past, start now.

I understand peoples anger and desire to make BP pay. We down here in this part of the world agree with you One Hundred-Fifty percent. But that is our point. We MUST make them pay. As in pay for everything needed right now and to continue to pay for whatever it takes to get this area stable again in the next twenty years. Frankly Louisiana and the United States of America need this company around for the long haul. Not to mention Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas. They will need BP’s financial assistance for years to come to stop/clean/replenish the Gulf Coast region. We all need them to stay afloat, to have revenues coming in so we can take them right back to fix this disaster. Not too mention that gas stations themselves are generally independently owned and operated by other hard working  Americans just like me and you. Don’t make them lose their livelihood because they have the above logo on their sign. They need your business, they have families and bills to pay. Those owners didn’t ask BP to royally f**k up as they have.

We appreciate the American people and the way they are feeling our pain down this way. We accept that you and yours hate BP just as much as we do. We also accept that this is going to take years if not decades to recover from and that the United States of America needs them around to be responsible, emotionally and fiscally.

18 Comments so far

  1. NO_Doc (unregistered) on June 7th, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    OK, I gotta thank you for this one Dan. I, like 99% of the rest of south Louisiana, was thinking with my heart and not my brain. I bailed on my shares of BP stock as soon as it became clear this was going to be an unmitigated disaster. I would rather have gone 10 miles out of my way to get non-BP gas. I was ready to stick signs in front of their stores with saying things like ‘greedy corporate bastards with no concern for who or what they hurt’….well, not exactly, but what I WAS gonna put on would get ya’ll a NC-17 rating and then some. But, the point you make is clearly valid. Why do that, only to have the turds who made the decisions to shortcut so many saftey issues bail out with their golden parachutes? And then, BP will declare bankruptcy and walk away, leaving us covered in oil and without anyone to hold responsible. They will then take jobs at other companies and get back to their lavish living. I’m with you now. Please keep BP solvent, people. We need every penny we can squeeze out of them.

  2. oyster (unregistered) on June 7th, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

    Stupidest argument ever. We need BP to pay us, so let’s keep them afloat by buying gasoline from the same blokes who poisioned our coast.

    BP is an oil company– they have hundreds of billions in assets that can be seized to pay off judgments– especially if they don’t spend decades fighting the victims in court. How about this alternative to your proposal– we boycott BP until they earn our dollars back by telling the truth for once and by effectively cleaning this crap up and paying quickly for all the damages owed?

    It’s not like there aren’t other countries China/India… etc who won’t buy BP’s oil if we don’t. Should we also stop using alternative fuels and cease carpooling so that demand for oil will increase and prices per barrel will rise and BP will profit more so they can pay us? Does that make any sense at all?

    This is not intellectual, it’s almost like a battered spouse syndrome.

    Jeezm! Wake up! This is part of a transnational cartel you’re dealing with. A boycott is one of the few tools you might have to get their attention for half a minute, if that.

    ANd if you want to help the local store owners, which you should== continue buying your cokes and candy at the convenience mart. They make more profit on those items than they do on gas, anyway.

  3. Maitri (unregistered) on June 7th, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

    Some right and some wrong in this one.

    1) Do dump the stock. Direct impact – BOOM.
    2) Do buy less gasoline, take the bus more often and consider alternatives to fuel-based transportation. Also, buying gasoline at a Citgo station instead does not ensure that the hydrocarbons didn’t come from a BP-drilled well.
    3) Don’t punish the BP franchise owner because he is not responsible for what BP did in the Gulf. He owns the station and pays only to use the BP logo.

  4. Josh Jacobs (unregistered) on June 7th, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

    Are you kidding me? This is the stupidest think I have EVER read. Big Oil will ALWAYS want the oil in the Gulf and in the La. marshes. FOREVER. BP America should be dismantled and not be allowed to do business in the USA for 100 years –and they should STILL PAY for their atrocity.

  5. Kurt Walls (unregistered) on June 8th, 2010 @ 5:31 am

    Amen…it’s about time we start Boycotting these BP Stations. Folks, if you go about “Business as usual” and keep buying BP Gas, then nothing gets done – BP will have learned nothing and will be tacitly given the green light to engage in even more destruction. For the past 60 years, BP has done everything from overthrow democratic governments (Mossadegh in Iran – 1952) to pollute entire seas. It’s time to put a stop to their ways.

  6. Charles C. (unregistered) on June 8th, 2010 @ 9:36 am

    It might be an unpopular argument, or an unsatisfying one, but it’s not a stupid one. Right now there is a bizarre focus on BP as some sort of aberration in the oil industry, or as some foreign company come to rape and pillage our otherwise responsibly handled nationalistic lands. BP got away with what it did through an inability to curb our consumption (our insatiable demand makes those business practices profitable) and collusion with agencies set up to prevent (or try to prevent) exactly these types of situations, and if you start buying Shell, or Citgo, or who cares what brand without altering your consumption or considering just what processes are behind the products and services you consume, THAT’S accomplishing nothing.

    BP needs to remain solvent long enough to perform the cleanup, which could take decades. If you want a say in how BP does business, selling your shares actually gives you less of a voice. Demanding oversight as a citizen, voter, stockholder, whatever, that’s how to accomplish what’s best for the coast. Maybe it’s not simple, or fast, and you’re angry NOW, but it’s definitely not a stupid point-of-view and is worth your consideration as an option.

    And an argument like “buy candy or cokes to keep small businesses going” is what’s really stupid as a strategy. A larger profit margin on Sour Patch Kids and American Spirits is meaningless because that’s not what they’re in the business of selling. That’d be like trying to support a restaurant by going to Cochon and only ordering Dr. Pepper. Sure, the margin is huge on cola products, but they’re not going to keep anyone in business.

    If you really want to boycott BP, and you don’t want to leave small business owners twisting in the wind, a better albeit slower strategy would be to continue supporting them for now but also reaching out to them and working to transition them to a different company if possible, if that’s really the path you’re committed to.

    Also, for all the kneejerk BP boycotters, if there’s a Shell station across the street maybe you can make yourself feel better by filling up there instead, but if you’re driving your (possibly fuel inefficient) car across town just to avoid buying BP gas, that’s ridiculous.

  7. danfraz on June 8th, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    It is unpopular, that’s why I went with the thought. Good to see the responses, do what you feel you must.

  8. oyster (unregistered) on June 8th, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    “And an argument like ‘buy candy or cokes to keep small businesses going’ is what’s really stupid as a strategy.”

    Really? You’re the one comparing a mini mart business model to a fine dining restaurant. Mini marts make pennies on the gas. It’s not inconsequential income, but the real profit in convenience stores is the addictions they serve: candy, soft drinks, smokes, and lotto. Buy ten gallons of gas and two 20oz drinks and a candy bar– guess which provided more net profit for the store owner (I’m not talking just percentages)? Gas brings people in and gets them to stop and they pick up these high profit items. The parallel to Cochon is ridiculous, as is the thought that a BP gas boycott by Gulf Coast residents will make the difference between BP staying in business or not.

  9. danfraz on June 8th, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    “a BP gas boycott by Gulf Coast residents will make the difference between BP staying in business or not.”

    It won’t oyster but if the other 45 states in America stop then yes, it will be a problem which the 5 states on the Gulf eventually will have to come up with the funds. I understand your points and frustration but in my opinion the rest of America needs to continue to buy gas from BP. Save your boycott for the day when the Gulf States don’t need their cash anymore.

  10. Charles C. (unregistered) on June 8th, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    Sorry, I will adapt my comparison to be more in line with a comparable model: movie theaters. Theaters don’t get a huge cut of the ticket sales, but like a gas station, it’s not inconsequential income. They make their money on concessions. But it’s the ticket sales (like gasoline sales, which as you said, are responsible for the foot traffic), that pushes the business through the venue in the first place, and not everyone buys popcorn. You’re not going to pay $8 for nachos if there’s no movie. And that’s if you ignore the foolishness of presumably driving to your local BP to buy a Coke instead of picking one up at the station where you’re actually filling up your vehicle.

    With Cochon, I was attempting to make the point that people aren’t likely to go to a restaurant just to buy a fountain drink if they’re not there for the pork, just like they won’t be going to a gas station to buy a Coke. That’s not why those businesses exist. It’s not a practical suggestion.

    The other difference is in volume. People “need” gallons of fuel at a time, and they need it on a regular basis. You can only drink so many Pepsi products. Maybe on a per unit basis that soft drink and a candy bar rakes in a larger profit, but every customer doesn’t buy those items. Every customer doesn’t need, want, or can practically consume those items. That steady stream of customers does need fuel, and that profit, even at pennies on the gallon, adds up more quickly than the Butterfingers.

    In most current scenarios boycotting BP is a kneejerk, poorly conceived, and shortsighted strategy, born of of frustration and anger, much more deserving of being labeled “stupid” than the original post. I apologize if you didn’t find my original example satisfactory, and still believe that even if you go a different way, or make a different decision, giving Dan’s point of view consideration is worth at least a moment of everyone’s time.

  11. oyster (unregistered) on June 9th, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    Listen, I read a lot of dumb conservative blogs, so let me apologize for labeling this the “stupidest argument ever”. It’s not. I’ve seen much worse. And I’m not in favor of a boycott, but I’m certainly not in favor of advising people who are harmed by the spill to not only not boycott but to continue purchasing gas from BP stations in order to keep the criminally negligent parent company “afloat” so that they can “pay us”. I don’t think one action will have any affect on the other.

  12. Patty (unregistered) on June 10th, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    BP does not care if we boycott them. They are going to lie, with the help of the government until they declare bankruptcy, after they pay out millions to stockholders, and get a bailout from the the taxpayers, and go back to their same old ways.

    Once a new news topic hits the airwaves, the public forgets the past.

  13. Bob Kelly (unregistered) on June 11th, 2010 @ 2:41 am

    You are all talking nonsense. The oil leakage was an accident. BP are trying to contain the oil flow. The problem is that no-one has ever had to plug a well at these depths before. The oil rig is owned buy transocean. which is a Swiss Company. The valve that failed to block off the oil flow was made and installed by an AMERICAN company Halburton.
    BP are acceping full responsiblity and are slowly finding solutions to the problems.
    If you have any better ideas why don’t you go and help them.

    Maybe if the USA didn’t use any gas you would be able to stay up on the high ground. The fact is that the USA uses more oil products than any other country in the world. That is more than China more than Russia.

    Stop using so much oil . Pay more for your gas . Spend on research into low energy products. The there will be no need for deep sea oil exploration.

  14. Stephanie Fubp (unregistered) on June 11th, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

    Ok, who from BP hired you to say that?
    Like they dont already have BILLIONS of dollars worth of assets, it would take a very VERY long time for their money to run out.

  15. NO_Doc (unregistered) on June 11th, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

    The reason I feel that this is really a good point Dan is making is look at what happened in Alaska with Exxon. We are decades down the road, and they are STILL not done with all the fallout from that. BP has said they stand ready to pay ‘all REASONABLE claims’ (translation: the claims we want to pay, not all the claims for peripheral and trickle-down effects that this assfest will have). It will take lawyers a good 20-30 YEARS to figure out what is and is not ‘reasonable’. There are already rumors galore that BP is evaluating its options in terms of bankruptcy. Remember, BP is based out of the good old UK (the people that brought us the Stamp Act that led to this little brouhaha called the American Revolutionary War). Their laws are different, and I am sure their judiciary doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us. If BP can run this dirty laundry through the British judical system and walk away selling the majority of its assets to, say, Royal Dutch Shell….wanna bet the senior executives of BP (the ones who put the ‘ass’ in ‘assfest’) suddenly turn up on the Shell payroll?? While BP does indeed have hundreds of billions in assets, the accountants now can hide all kinds of stuff (just ask Enron shareholders) to drop that down and make the bankruptcy idea feasible if BP decides to go that route.

    And Bob, I agree that BP is in a bad position. They are basically trying to put a condom on a straw gushing thousands of gallons an hour from a mile away. The problem I DO have is the REASON we have this problem in the first place is that they broke their own and the industry’s standards on how to handle a well all because they wanted to get the rig off the well ASAP since it was costing $500k/day. They took shortcuts, didn’t do certain saftey checks, and basically wrote a ‘how to’ book on blowing a well. You would have thought that since they WERE in such deep water and it WOULD be such a pain in the ass to deal with that they would have actually INCREASED safety margins and double/triple checked everything instead of just trying to rush the job. Also, Cameron is the company that made the blowout preventer, not Haliburton. It was Transocean’s job to maintain the BOP since they bought it though…would love to see the maintainence records there. Haliburton’s only issue is did they cement the well, and used some experimental stuff. Lucky for them, if they screwed up then the evidence was likely blown to hell when the well blew.

  16. oyster (unregistered) on June 11th, 2010 @ 3:51 pm
  17. richard (rico) on June 12th, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

    Also Bob: you’re essentially blaming the victims in those last two paragraphs — the rhetorical equivalent of arguing that women who dress in sexy clothing deserve to get raped. Nice.

    Tell Tony we said hi.

  18. Laurie (unregistered) on June 26th, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    Since technically, when you buy from an independent dtation you have no idea where the gad’s source is any way.


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