Many of my friends are jumping on the BOYCOTT BP bandwagon, thinking that they are making a difference by not purchasing their gas or groceries from BP. This does not work...and as a friend, and as a person with a background in this business, let me briefly explain to you why, without going into great detail...
1. ALL REFINED FUEL COMES FROM THE SAME PIPELINE. Whether it is BP, Exxon, Amoco, Valero or whoever...the liquid gasoline is all coming out of the same pipe. It is sold on the open market, but they all contract how many gallons they are putting in the supply...and there is no way to send BP gas to BPs, etc...it is all the same. SO, in reality...if you are boycotting BP for the oil spill, or Citgo for political reasons, and you drive down the street to the next station, you are buying the same gas.
2. BOYCOTTING DOES NOT HURT THE OIL COMPANIES REVENUE. If they passed a law today that made it illegal for you to buy your gas at BP, not a dollar would be lost...because they would still be putting the same amount of fuel into the fuel supply, and you would merely be buying it from somewhere else. ALSO, all the crude they produce would still be sold for manufacturing, and all the other things we use oil for in this world.
3. NOT BUYING YOUR GROCERIES FROM A BP CONVENIENCE STORE WILL NOT AFFECT BP. You would be hard pressed to find a convenience store with a BP sign in front of it that is owned by BP. Gas stations generally are leased by small companies or families. The family runs the store and the only reason the sign on the front says BP is because they have a contract with a jobber to supply the gas and possibly maintain the pumps and tanks. The lessor of the store makes very little on gas, if anything at all, as they buy at the market rate from the jobber who supplies the gas from the collective pipeline. Not buying your coffee, cigs, etc... from a BP does not hurt BP at all...just the guy who leases the store and his employees or family.
This was a similar problem when everyone was boycotting Citgos because of the political stance of the president of their country. Talking of boycotts sounds noble, and may make you feel good, but you are accomplishing nothing. If you really want to accomplish something, research ways to see that your legislators are working toward punishing the parties responsible, and getting help to the victims of the tragedy. Just a friendly heads up!!