Is BP Suffering Yet?

Jim Dyer, in a comment on my post of June 2, has a good idea for a national “buy gas somewhere else than BP day” when this thing is all over, depriving them of the sales of however many millions of gallons of our oil they’ve ended up losing for us. I love that, and wonder if it’s already happening.

I’ve tried to notice how many cars I see in BP gas stations as I drive by, and, anecdotally, it seems like fewer than at other stations now. I know I haven’t bought gas at a BP since this thing started, and I used to patronize them a fair amount. (BP and Shell are the two brands which have multiple stations near me.) I’d bet millions of other drivers are voting with their wheels the same way I am. So that’s another story I’m not seeing in the press: How much decline has occured in BP gas station sales since the leak in the Gulf started?

P.S. An article in Slate points out that while BP does own some of its own gas stations and AM/PM minimarts, many are owned by independent owner/operator franchisees, who are blameless in the catastrophe. A boycott would unfairly punish them. Nevertheless, making a personal decision for myself, I find I’ve been unable to consider filling up at a BP since late April. And when I drive past a BP station now and see whether others feel the same way I do, the evidence seems to confirm that they do.

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8 Comments on “Is BP Suffering Yet?”

  1. William Marks says:

    Very interesting idea that goes beyond hand-wringing and prompts specific action. I do point out how easy it will be to boycott the particular BP station you happened to choose to illustrate your idea. It’s at the intersection of La Salle Drive and Clark Street in Chicago, and those in the neightborhood never go there anyway, since it’s commonly referred to by many of us as “the world’s most expensive gas station.” They were offering $4 per gallon gas long before it became fashionable.

  2. Rovronr says:

    Just a little nit with Slate’s reference to the working stiffs who own BP/ARCO/AMPM gas stations: Screw ’em! They’re building their business out of the BP brand, let them suffer when that brand craps all over the rest of us. It’s unlikely the fellow behind the counter owns the store. It is likely, however, that a big business owns the store, and ten or fifteen or twenty or fifty more like it. It is also likely that same big business has been fixing prices and gouging all of us for years. With the help of BP/ARCO. (Your $4.00 gas is a perfect example, Bill.) Slate’s notion that a boycott of your local BP/ARCO hurts “small and mid-sized business people who made an innocent decision to align with BP (Slate)” is impossibly naive and just plain stupid. Stay away from BP/ARCO/AMPM. Hit them where it hurts.

  3. Today was the first day since reading this that I needed to get gas. I typically use a Shell station near where I live, or get a fill-up near my office in the ‘burbs. There’s a pretty spiffy BP station on one corner and a run-down Mobil station across the street which is quite unsightly. This morning I became a customer of the eyesore.

  4. Mark Contorno says:

    I’m a lone wolf here, but I really disagree with boycotting BP. If anything, I think that we should not only not boycott BP, but support their gas stations even more then ever.
    If we do not continue to buy their gas/oil, then there is a good chance that they will have to go bankrupt. Then who will have to pay to clean the oil mess up? YOU.

    • Missouri Dave says:

      Fantastic, then our government (which is already doing the cleanup to begin with) can sell off all of their assests in North America and recover more than what was spent and pay for the cleanup, loss of income and startup an Ethanol, Biodiesel, Solar and Wind Power infrascture that doesn’t kill the waters nor pollute the air and the best part, the money is recirrculated in the US over and over. Now is a good time to remove your investments with oil companies in particular, BP. Especially if your using a 401K and have the finanical management disclose if your invested in BP, tell them to sell it or no more contributions. Further, its ok to be a Lone Wolf:)

  5. […] June 4, I asked the question: “How much decline has occured in BP gas station sales since the leak in the Gulf […]

  6. Jon says:

    Oops someone beat me to the punch about news on independents.

  7. Missouri Dave says:

    It has begun down in the Kansas City and surrounding suburbs such as Overland Park, Lees Summit, MO, Independence MO and Lenexa and Shawnee KS. You will occasionally see one vehicle at one of these BP branded stations but people are discussing it more and more each day. Some people have a renewed interest in Ethanol and unsurprising is that there are only 2 stations in the KC metro area that offer E85. Those that do have some sort of Conoco affiliation and there are tons of Conoco decals surrounding them that they are not a “Conoco Product.” It’s time for at least E15 to pass. Remember, Europe and other countries actively use Ethanol and Biodiesel. It is a fact that most import companies, VW for example that all of the entire fleet sold in Europe and South America use E85 and 100% Biodiesel. Look at the car manuals for North America and VW says that “We support fuels from Shell, Exxon BP ect. and purposely remove the software allowing E85. However, all Diesel cars and trucks and Class 8 trucks, tractors, bulldozers are fully compatible with pure 100% biodiesel whether they state this or not or only state B5, B10, B50 or B30. I have no sympathy for these independent stations that go with using a Branded Scheme from the Big 5 Oil companies. Spend the extra and develop their own brand and get back to what is a true independent small business or enterprise. Can’t afford the card readers then start using cash and skip paying out the fees to the credit industry where much of the inflated price comes from. Yes, stupid commercials from Chevron and BP about how they are in the Human Energy Business or Beyond Petroleum is simple crap produced my marketing agencies. You don’t need them, that is the simple truth. You don’t. Invest with America, not offshored Oil Businesses that are located in the Caymen Islands and other countries, they care nothing about you, only taking your money without reinvestment into your business and communites. Did you see the BP CEO? He could have cared less and went to a yachting race the next day. So much for the BP board of directors and how is it that Transocean who is the substantial partner on these offshore rigs isn’t getting the same press?? Think Ethanol is a joke? Read up on the EBDI Engine already made by Ricard Engineering and being tested in by the DOE along with partnership with Robert Bosche Corp. It’s powered on E85 and above and beats a Diesel and a gasoline engine with torque and horsepower but will run on straight gas but without the same power levels. If the oil companies allow this to slip through and remember this, you will see a revolution before your eyes. Ethanol can be made widely available we over-produce starch foods. Every bit of negative Ethanol material has been created by Oil company bloggers and lobbying groups as they simply know the public is undereducated, in debt and believes whatever is said without using knowledge nor Voting with what is Right, as opposed to whatever is the Cheapest.


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