Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why I'm NOT Boycotting BP...

Happy Thursday, my friends! Hope you're having a wonderful day and an easy week! So far, so good around here. Quite "boring" compared to last week, that's for sure!

Many have asked me how I feel about BP, since I live in coastal Alabama, on the front lines of this oil spill disaster. I am truly experiencing this firsthand, for me this is REAL LIFE - not just an image you see on the news every evening. I smell the oil. I go over to the beach daily, sometimes twice a day, to see how it looks. I have to scrub small amounts of oil off my feet before I come inside again. Sure I try not to get in oil, but those pictures you see on Facebook that were taken at the water's edge? You have to get a little oil on you to have those shots. This is what I call "My New Reality". An oil forecast daily, a "smell test" daily, and changing emotions.

When this catastrophe first happened, I was filled with nothing but anger. Angry that it happened. Angry that we were drilling so deep to begin with. Angry that 11 people lost their lives. Angry that it was not being discussed (at least for the first 5-15 days) at the national level. Angrier every day, as it became clear that this was not going away, and the impact was going to be catastrophic to my home and everything I love. 

Eventually my anger changed over to more of a sadness, some might even consider it a depression. I was (and still am) very, very sad about what was unfolding in front of my eyes. Sad that I felt so helpless. Sad that people were losing their livelihoods. Sad that wildlife was suffering. Sad that entire industries were being wiped out. Sad that a way of life I'd always lived - and quite frankly, taken for granted - was changing. 

I've learned in life, that when we get angry and sad, we look for someone to blame. Naturally I am blaming BP. As time moves on and we learn more about this disaster, it becomes clearer every day that BP was lax. Their safety record is questionable. They took shortcuts. They wanted to save $$$, even though they do make a lot of $$$. (Lesson - everyone wants to save $$$ - even billion dollar corporations). 

It has become somewhat "stylish" now to Boycott BP. However, I have to tell you, I'm not participating in the boycott. Don't get me wrong, I'm not driving out of my way to purchase their product...but I'm not refusing to either. Honestly, at first, I was one of those saying "I'm never buying their gas again - I'm voting with my wallet!"

Here are my three reasons why I'm not participating in "Boycott BP". I realize some of you won't agree with me, and that's ok. But I think food for thought is good.

1) We need BP to remain financially solvent through this crisis. The cleanup process will take years. The claims process for lost wages, lost business, etc will take years. They have to be in business to make these payments. Wildlife and wetlands restoration is going to be very costly.

2) The vast majority of BP "gas stations" are independently owned. The owners simply purchase their product from BP. That could be my husband's or Father's business (they're not of course, but go with me on this). To boycott them, would only put another family in financial peril. Do we really need another family in hardship, given the state of our local, national and global economy? I don't think so.

3) Believe it or not, the crisis is actually employing a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't have a job. All the jobs aren't direct employment by BP, in fact, the vast majority of them are contractors acting on BP's behalf. However it is at least a temporary boost to the economy of the Gulf States. Some of these jobs will ultimately become full time employment opportunities. Using my logic in reason #1, BP is paying for the services of these contractors.

So those are my reasons. Am I still mad at BP? Heck yes I am! But I'm hopeful they can figure out how to fix the gushing geyser in the depths of the Gulf, cap the well, and clean up their mess. I want them to stay in business to make it happen and to make the Gulf whole again.

What do you think? I'm interested to hear your comments. Have a great Thursday!

17 comments:

  1. I'm an investor in BP. And I agree with your assessment. It's really not one company at fault here but the whole system of regulations. When you use profits as incentives obviously you'll expect corporations to penny pinch. Anything that's not illegal in business is inevitable. I'm hoping BP ends up paying for everything and that prices go up, then we will finally realise the true cost of oil.

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  2. So sad.... and so frustrating because most of us feel so helpless.

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  3. Sad and depressing and I can not imagine how awful it is for you living the reality.

    I agree that boycotting BP is not a good idea, it only hurts the mom & pop small business owners and does nothing to solve the mess. there are no easy answers.

    keep us posted, thanks Lori! xox

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  4. What an excellent assessment of the situation. I also have not boycotted them nor gone out of my way to support them, but do know how difficult business must be for some BP stations right now.

    My heart goes out to you and your neighbors. I am so sorry. xoxo

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  5. I have thought so many times about posting about the oil spill and why I'm not boycotting.

    Another big reason (other than the independent owned) is that it's not hurting BP. All gas, whether Amaco, BP, Shell, whoever goes into one HUGE pipeline. So even though you're at BP, you're actually not causing any harm directly to them, you're just hurting the local owner, who had absolutely nothing to do with this issue. It's almost like a waste of time.

    I do think BP is much bigger than this crisis, they are a huge company and I do think they will make good. Because of their size, they really have no choice.

    And I don't think either BP or the gov't have handled the situation well at all. There has been no-management. I also don't agree with moratorum on drilling at all (with a family in the coal business, or what WAS the coal business, now trying to get into the bio-safe fuel business with no help whatsoever, I know a little bit about energy and the havoc the gov't is causing as a whole.) I think that this spill has been nothing but a scapegoat for the gov't to play politics. It's unfortunate timing and shame on BP for not having a safety record, but really....quit playing politics and get the leak STOPPED! There is SO much more going on here than just politics. There are people losing jobs, the environment is being destroyed, people aren't going on vacation to spend money hurting the economy, local home values are going even lower, local business owners are hurting.

    Sorry for the rant, I live in coastal Florida (on the coast not being affected), but I am still very upset and unfortunately, do not have the patience you have, not yet anyways. If this were my beach...what out!

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  6. I agree with you darling. I'm also very sad. I just feel that oil is why we are at war--why wouldn't we more closely monitor the one thing we had in the states that is clearly the reason we are in debt and sacrificing our citizens. we should have treated it better and watched it more closely. I'm ashamed too!
    xoxo
    SC

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  7. I think these are all the RIGHT reasons for not boycotting BP. Even up here in the Northeast, where we don't have very many BP stations AT ALL I have heard people talking about boycotting them because it seems like the "cool" thing to do.

    Its so obnoxious and I think its awesome that as someone down on the front line of this disaster you are pointing out all the reasons that people shouldn't be boycotting the BP fueling stations.

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  8. I agree with you. I'm sad and angry about this horrible spill, but I also feel bad for the independent small business owners who are being reviled by those who don't understand that boycotts hurt them and their families. And frankly, I'm more upset at the government for not having safety regs that keep up with technology than I am at BP.

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  9. Hi Lori... i completly agree with you on all points... I too go out to the beach everyday/night to take pics. Have you see the ones i posted of FB? xoPhillipDrummond

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  10. What a great post. Such good points! I know a gas station owner (not BP though), and you are exactly right about how the stations are operated. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Lori... I love what you've had to say! Would you mind if I copied and pasted it in an email to send to family and friends? Of course I would give you full credit! (I will also post a link to your blog.)

    You can let me know in a comment on my blog!

    You are amazing... xox

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  12. Good commentary ... excellent points. I also thought TastyLaska was astute when she noted, "Anything not illegal in business is inevitable." I hope this incident with BP will temper the nation's criticism of government regulation, especially when it comes to hazardous work in the private sector. I don't mean to sound like a schoolmarm, but there's a good reason for the rules. Enforcement of them was sorely lacking in BP's case.

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  13. BRAVO ! Well stated Lori ! Thank you for sharing ! I agree 100% with you ! It is all so depressing !

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  14. Well said, Lori. I initially refused to buy gas from them anymore. But what you are saying makes a lot of sense. And I want your beach to be safe and oil free. So it does make sense to continue to support the local gas stations. And I will :)

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  15. Way to go, Lori! I'm so proud of your choices and realizing that by boycotting you weren't hurting BP, as much as the small business owners. I pray more people see this reality.

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  16. I think this is way bigger than BP. We need to take action as a society to decrease our dependence on oil!

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  17. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I live in Florida. I treasure my beautiful and unique state, especially the beaches,ocean and gulf. I love the shorebirds that patrol my neighborhoods. My elderly, retired father worked hard all his life at Amoco Oil which was bought by BP after he retired. He lives on the dividends from the stock he bought his entire career. No dividends will be paid now. Okay, fair enough. No one would think that he deserves any reimbursement and that's the way it goes. Life is full of risks and rewards. But there are a number of things to consider. For example, why do oil companies have to drill so far out in the ocean where a leak is so hard to control? Do people know that an oil leak like this is under the jurisdiction of our federal gov't? Why have we been so woefully let down by our gov't?? Why aren't those arrogant congressmen asking themselves how they could have let this happen? Do we, as a nation, really not want to drill for oil in our oceans? Do we really prefer to leave it to Venezuela and the Middle East and Russia? China is doing slant drilling near Cuba. We use gas. Every piece of plastic you own comes from the byproducts of petroleum processing. I just feel like we need to approach this maturely and reasonably. Oil rigs are dangerous. That is why they pay so well. That isn't news. But when all those coal miners died a few months back they didn't halt coal mining. I just feel like we are being manipulated.

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