In 1989, an Exxon tanker, known as the Valdez ran aground in Alaska. The resulting disaster was one of the worst the U.S. had ever seen. Consumers were outraged. They cut their Exxon credit cards in two and sent them to the company. A week or two later, the C.E.O. Lawrence Rawl said, "In ten years, you'll see nothing." And in response to consumer outrage, he said that we would forget. He was half right. The effects on the Alaskan tundra are very much still felt today.
But Exxon didn't fold over it…the conglomerate is still in business. Exxon bought Mobil and is stronger than ever. But me? I didn't forget. I haven't bought gas at an Exxon since the day the oil was spilled. It wasn't that the spill happened, I get that "accidents happen." It was the half-assed way the company went about cleaning it, and the years-long litigation in trying to get the damages reduced. For over 20 years now, they have been taking it back to court, and reducing what was awarded in order to avoid being held financially responsible for the mess they made. Most of America forgot. But I did not. No Exxon, no Mobil.
Enter BP and the ongoing cluster!@#$ taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. Continually downplaying the amount of oil being spewed, BP has been pussy-footing around this mess since it happened. Executives are as distant as they can be. They claim they can't stop the oil that is gushing from the pipeline. And maybe not. But until we see the BP big-wigs standing knee-deep in muck with a toothbrush in one hand, and a bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid in the other, I will not believe they are, "Doing all we can." And as such, I choose to vote with my dollars, yet again. I am not buying gas from ARCO. I will not be patronizing AM/PM and I will steer clear of Castrol motor oil. All of these are owned by British Petroleum.
BP is known for over 8,000 disasters in the last twenty years. And what has been done about it? Isn't it time to say NO to profits over people? I think so.
Will it make a difference to BP? Perhaps not. But it makes a difference to me. Almost 20 years ago, George W. Bush made a mess of handling the Exxon oil spill. This time, President Obama will hold the perpetrators accountable. And so will I.
T, who figures it should mean something