General Question

jca's avatar

Do you think a boycott of BP would be an effective way to get them to act quicker or more responsibly?

Asked by jca (36002points) May 25th, 2010

there was a conversation on the radio last night about boycotting BP. they were talking about boycotting for one day to try to influence BP to move faster. Do you think a boycott, whether for one day or for a long period, would be effective to influence BP to move a little faster with the oil spill?

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34 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar


It blows my mind that people even get gas from BP in the first place. Around me they are always at least 5–10 cents more

jrpowell's avatar

They are losing millions everyday because their oil is is being leaked into the ocean instead of into the refineries. I’m sure they want to plug the leak, they just don’t know how.

But they can fuck off for not doing more to mitigate the damages.

cazzie's avatar

Nope. Writing to your government and demanding the enforcement of regulations and some additional regulations to make the safety regulations for the Gulf put on a parity with the North Sea would do more. I encourage everyone to kick up a stink and tell everyone how lax regulators and inspectors in the oil industry in the US are. If someone had been breathing down Deep Water Horizon’s neck there would have been better safety measures in place and this could have been avoided.

arpinum's avatar

No, this is a misunderstanding of the petrol distribution system.
Petrol at BP doesn’t come come from their own refineries or oil wells. Instead, stations typically receive petrol from the nearest refinery, regardless of owner, and stations are franchised. BP stations in effect serve the same petrol as the Exxon or Shell station, aside from additives.
A boycott will hurt the station owners severely, but the lost revenue to BP would be minimal.

john65pennington's avatar

No. would have no effect in their speed. BP already stands to lose millions and millions of dollars, so i am sure they are progressing at the fastes speed possible. its money out of their pockets.

Seek's avatar

What they’re trying to do is find a way to stop the spill without losing the well. That’s why it’s taking so damned long. If they blow up the well and collapse it, it’s done. They don’t get any more of that oil, and they have to look somewhere else. Gods forbid they find somewhere else to rape the earth.

marinelife's avatar

I like the idea as a symbolic gesture even.

cazzie's avatar

Actually, Seek, blowing up the well can cause fractures and leaks from numerous fissures. There are already at least two caused by the mess and pressure the gas explosion caused.

LuckyGuy's avatar

8000 barrels per day at $70 a barrel is $560,000 per day.
Take it out of the CEOs’ salary and bonuses. The top five guys got $15M last year . Plus plenty of options.
They can afford it.

cazzie's avatar

Look, BP doesn’t drill. The company that drills is as far removed as the company that raises the chickens that KFC buys to put in the buckets. But, the deal is…. the oil that results of the drilling is the responsibility of the company that contracts the drilling. In this case, it’s BP.

This is the company that was drilling…

a recent press release…...

News Release

Transocean Ltd. Affiliates File Limitation of Liability Petition
ZUG, SWITZERLAND, May 13, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX)—Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) (SIX: RIGN) today announced that, at the instruction of its insurers and in order to preserve insurance coverage, several of its affiliated companies have filed a petition in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Houston, under the federal Limitation of Shipowner’s Liability Act in connection with the recent Deepwater Horizon casualty.

Transocean said it believes this step is necessary to protect the interests of its employees, its shareholders and the company.

The Company noted that one of the primary goals of this filing is to consolidate in a single court many of the lawsuits that have been filed following the Deepwater Horizon casualty to initiate an orderly process for these lawsuits and claims before a single, impartial federal judge. The filing also would establish a single fund from which legitimate claims may be paid. Transocean believes this type of orderly process is in the best interests of all parties involved.

The company emphasized, however, that its focus remains centered on remediation and meeting the needs of its injured and deceased employees and their family members during this difficult time—as demonstrated by the efforts of its family response team members. The Company intends to pursue resolution with its employees as quickly as possible, but out of respect, not before the upcoming memorial service.

The company also emphasized that this filing does not impact lawsuits filed under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and that it will continue to provide all possible support to BP and the Unified Command.

Among other things, the complaint asks that the Court issue an injunction restraining certain lawsuits underway against these companies in any jurisdiction other than the Southern District of Texas. The petitioners noted in the complaint that more than 100 lawsuits have been filed against the companies in multiple states and courts.

As set forth under Federal Law, the complaint also asks that the companies be judged not liable on claims for certain, defined losses or damages relating to the casualty or, if they are judged to be liable, that the liability for such claims be limited to the value of their interest in the Deepwater Horizon rig and its freight including the accounts receivable and accrued accounts receivable as of April 28, 2010. The petitioners assert in the filing that the entire value of their interest does not exceed $26,764,083. The petitioning companies in the action are Triton Asset Leasing GmbH, owner; Transocean Holdings LLC, contract operator; Transocean Deepwater Inc., employer of Deepwater Horizon crew, and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., employer of land-based crew.

About Transocean Ltd. Transocean, Ltd. is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor and the leading provider of drilling management services worldwide. With a fleet of 139 mobile offshore drilling units plus three ultra-deepwater units under construction, Transocean’s fleet is considered one of the most modern and versatile in the world due to its emphasis on technically demanding segments of the offshore drilling business. Transocean owns or operates a contract drilling fleet of 45 High-Specification Floaters (Ultra-Deepwater, Deepwater and Harsh-Environment semisubmersibles and drillships), 26 Midwater Floaters, 10 High-Specification Jackups, 55 Standard Jackups and other assets utilized in the support of offshore drilling activities worldwide.

SOURCE: Transocean Ltd.

janbb's avatar

I’m thinking of boycotting all oil companies! (I wish.)

casheroo's avatar

@uberbatman It’s always the cheapest in my area. I haven’t gone in a while though.

charliecompany34's avatar

a law should be written for future oil spills that declares this:

for every so many gallons of oil wasted, a hefty fine for every thousandth gallon is tallied up until the gushing oil is plugged and capped. can you imagine how much BP would have to pay back in a month’s time?

Adagio's avatar

Perhaps it is incredibly naive to say this but I keep asking myself why there are not proven contingency plans in place so that a situation like this may be rectified quickly, relatively speaking. Surely there are companies that specialise in preparation for just such events… if not, why not, and if not why are oil rigs allowed to operate forgodsake!

cazzie's avatar

@Adagio There ARE programs and plans. Did you see the 60 Minutes interview with the tech?;contentBody

It was very enlightening. It sounds like what was allowed to happen here was pure craziness.

My husband works for a company that helps make oil drilling safer. In fact… he was on this rig when it was being built.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Your question is based on the false assumption that BP is acting slowly or not responsibly.

cazzie's avatar

@ItsAHabit it seems pretty clear that their irresponsibility caused the accident that cost 11 lives and made this mess.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Because of restrictions on shallow water drilling, BP was forced to drill in very deep water (about one mile deep) which inherently increases risk. For example, if the well were in shallow water, the gusher could have easily and quickly been stopped.

cazzie's avatar

@ItsAHabit it’s NOT the restrictions that are driving the drilling at deeper water.. it’s the technology.

This was NOT the deepest well, and there are many others like it, functioning fine. BP pressed for short cuts because they were behind schedule. The Deepwater crew should have had some sort of back up behind them so they could tell the BP pen pushers to go f*** themselves when they started asking for faster, harder, more. It was the Deepwater crew who lost 11 men on that rig. BP was only losing money when they asked that crew to put their lives at risk. It should not be allowed. But I’m biased. My husband works on rigs. He was on the Deepwater Horizon when it was being built. He doesn’t work for BP, but now I know that BP puts lives at risk of those they contract for work and I hope my husband never has to work on another rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Technology makes deep water drilling possible but restrictions on shallow water drilling make it necessary.

cazzie's avatar

@ItsAHabit can you find a link to this restriction you speak of?

ItsAHabit's avatar

Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia have all prohibited drilling close to shore.

cazzie's avatar

Ummm….... I think I asked for a link to reference of what you are talking about. Here’s mine:

1995 Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (encourages deep water drilling by allowing the companies to drill with out paying the fees normally due when drilling for oil and gas)

Seek's avatar

Could it possibly have something to do with the prospect of a burst pipe destroying our shorelines and ruining our tourist industry and thus our entire economy?

janbb's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Where would anyone get that dumb idea from? ~

cazzie's avatar

What does it matter whether the burst pipe is near or far from the shoreline?.. the oil still comes up, drifts ashore and destroys the place. The Royalty Relief Act was passed to help stimulate the Gulf oil industry by making deeper drilling more appealing. Scary.

I don’t think the restrictions on near shore drilling is to blame for this spill. That’s like saying…‘Teacher, the test was too hard so you can’t blame me for cheating.’ BP cheated on safety measures and they can NOT use… ‘But it was so far deep under the water!’ cry because there are other wells just as deep that did NOT blow up and whose blow out valve was kept in tact and whose concrete plug was successfully completed.

janbb's avatar

Apparently, BP is under investigation already for several prior breeches of safety procedures.

Seek's avatar

Sorry, @cazzie, that was directed to @ItsAHabit. Florida is opposed to near-shore drilling for the afore-mentioned reasons, as well as simple aesthetics. People come to Florida on holiday to see pristine beaches and protected wildlife – not oil rigs and diesel slime.

cazzie's avatar

finding ItsAHabit’s sources of information very telling. I believe most of us think that the oil companies have enough free reign and that the answer isn’t ‘Drill Baby, Drill.’ but ‘Walk, baby, Walk.’ Use less. Consume less. Get a bike. Walk to the store, and yes… pay MORE for your petrol like the rest of the world, America. It’s a dirty, dirty habit.

If you think that’s radical, how about this: Pass and enforce some decent regulation on that industry full of cowboys.

janbb's avatar

Yeah – the movie There Will be Blood was only the beginning of it.

Macaulay's avatar

Sticking to the question: Most BPs are independently owned, so by boycotting, you’re only hurting your family owned and local businesses. Besides, the store doesn’t make much money off the gasoline sold. Also, BP is served at many gas stations, so you’re most likely still buying BP product regardless of where you gas up.

ItsAHabit's avatar

It reminds me of the French trying to harm the U.S. by burning McDonalds franchises. But the franchises in France that they burned were owned by French proprietors.

cazzie's avatar

@ItsAHabit, they weren’t trying to harm the US, they were trying to defend their culture against something they felt had no place in their country. It wasn’t an ‘anti-US’ campaign. It was a ‘Pro French Culture’ protest and as far as they were concerned the French proprietors were collaborators. It was stupid and didn’t work. There is a McDonalds in the Louvre now.

It does show that these types of protests don’t work. The best thing everyone can do is to write to their congressmen and senators and tell them that the industry standards that are currently legislated MUST be enforced and further regulations must be passed to put the US oil industry on a par, safety-wise, to those of Brazil and the North Sea.

Avoid BP stations if it feels wrong for you, but don’t think you’re really hurting them. If you’re a stockholder, you’d be in a better position to hurt them. (sell cheap and drive their stock price down further) Consumers don’t count for much and are easily mislead that they have some sort of clout in these situations. As a voter, you have more clout. Safety Parity NOW!

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