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Jun15

Ten reasons why we should ALL boycott BP

BP's Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig on fire - April 2010

Most people probably don’t need further reasons…

… but for the undecided among you here is a list of ten compelling reasons why all of us should step up to the plate and boycott BP:-

  1. Allegations by BP’s Deepwater rig partner Andarko Petroleum who have openly accused the company of being “reckless”. James Hackett, chief executive of Anadarko Petroleum, said it was considering “contractual remedies” for what the company has described as BP’s “gross negligence or willful misconduct” over the spill.
  2. BP’s increasingly desperate attempts to stop the flow of crude oil following the rig explosion have demonstrated a total lack of workable disaster / contingency planning.
  3. Thanks to lax US and UK laws (allegedly watered down by oil-industry lobbyists), BP was permitted to operate the rig without the use of safety devices such as the acoustic switch blowout system. This fail-safe device costs a half a million dollars to implement, but BP appears to have decided that this was an unnecessary expense. Yet another legacy of the Bush/Cheney administration.
  4. While people died and others continue to risk their lives to contain the disaster, BP top dog Tony Hayward swanned off on a rich-boy’s yacht race.
  5. Instead of gratefully accepting their help and focusing on the problem at hand, BP’s lawyers attempted to gag fisherman volunteering to help with oil spill clean-up efforts, by forcing them to sign away their right to free speech, from holding BP harmless for any accidents that might occur, and requiring them to give the oil giant a month’s notice before filing any legal claims.
  6. Despite preliminary estimates of a cleanup cost running into billions, along with BP’s average net earnings of close to $20bn per year for the last 3 years, sailing-boy CEO Tony Hayward has decided to proceed with dividend payments, before the cleanup costs can even be properly estimated.
  7. BP has a poor environmental and safety record that dates back for decades. It was named by Mother Jones Magazine as one of the “ten worst corporations” in both 2001 and 2005 based on its environmental and human rights records. Between January 1997 and March 1998, BP was responsible for 104 oil spills.
  8. In recent years, BP has been implicated in a number of gas price manipulation scandals. Detailed allegations by federal investigators that BP traders illegally manipulated propane prices in 2004 and formal charges brought against BP by the Oklahoma Attorney General left BP executives squirming and red-faced, but did little to change their ways.
  9. On the local front, BP has a long history of always being the first to increase fuel prices at the pumps and the last to reduce them – so much so that fuel price increases are refereed to in New Zealand as: “the BP subsidy”.
  10. At the same time, BP have demonstrated that they don’t give a damn about their forecourt customers and have managed to take the last remaining vestiges of “Service” out of the “Service station” by mumbling something incoherent about health and safety laws, without being able to quote chapter and verse when pressed. This has even extended to one station refusing to assist a disabled driver and ordering him off the forecourt for apparently “creating a safety hazard”.

Seen enough? Join the boycott

The only thing that governments and corporate interests still fear, is public opinion.

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6 Comments for: Ten reasons why we should ALL boycott BP

  1. Visitor Comment # 1
    Keith Mullet : (Visitor)

    Bloody right! That dog needs to have it’s leash giving a good yank.

    And President Obama – please stop referring to BP as “BRITISH Petroleum”. They merged with the yank mob Amocco over 10 years ago and it just makes you look like you are trying to side-step American responsibility for the disaster.

  2. Visitor Comment # 2
    Aaron Kramlla : (Visitor)

    Why does it always seem to be British and American companies that cop this stuff?

  3. Member Comment # 3

    Trouble is that it takes a disaster like this for people to ‘find out’ that companies like this are ‘bending’ the rules.

    Check out this damning article for some examples of how much BP were ‘making it up as they went along’ in terms of disaster preparedness. Horrendous!

  4. Visitor Comment # 4

    I have at least one friend who keeps banging on about how much money BP is spending to put things right, compared to the Exxon-Valdez thing a few years back. That’s all well and good, but if they had spent a bit more in following reasonable safety measures and decent disaster contingency, then they wouldn’t be in the mess they are in now!

    To me the argument is a bit like saying: Well Charles Manson was a bit of a murdering git but at least he didn’t kill as many people as Pol Pot! Wtf dude?

    And of course that bastard Hayward has walked away from the whole mess with a million quid bonus and a hefty 10 million pension top-up. It’s enough to make any reasonable human being be violently sick!

  5. Visitor Comment # 5

    What we could really do with is some serious research into alternatives to fossil fuels. At the moment we are just tinkering around the margins because there is no real will to find a solution…oil is just too much of a cheap and easy solution by comparison.

    But if we invested a few billion dollars (paid out of taxes on the oil company profits, but overseen by an independent board of consumers, government and groups such as Greenpeace) we might be able to come up with a cheap, clean alternative. Which means that we can use oil for far more important things.

  6. Author Comment # 6

    Too right! Oil is an incredibly precious commodity; far too important to waste burning.

    Almost every aspect of our modern life, from plastics and perspex, paints, thinners and detergents, all our semi-conductor technology and most of our pharmaceuticals (to name just a few) are based on the science of organic chemistry – particularly long-chain hydrocarbons, which can only be produced economically using oil.

    Even the most cynical among us would acknowledge that the internal combustion engine is antiquated technology, contuinually propped bu by the automotive, power and oil supply industries for one purpose; to make those fuckers rich!

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