Protesters Descend on BP Stations

Anger at Gulf spill sparks boycotts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2010 3:59 AM CDT
Caroline Nagy, left, pours a mixture of water and paint resembling oil on Sally Newman during a demonstration at a BP gas station in Manhattan.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – Public anger at BP's failure to stop the Gulf leak has spilled over into boycotts and protests at BP gas stations around America and the world. Station managers say protests and boycotts haven't dampened sales. "People don't care," a clerk at one Florida station tells the New York Times. With retail sales making up a mere fraction of BP's revenue, pump boycotts are unlikely to have much impact, say analysts.

"It's a noble effort, but it's really going to hurt the wrong people," market analyst Phil Flynn tells USA Today, noting that most of America's 22,000 BP stations are independent businesses with little connection to the company. The director of the energy program at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen disagrees. "A boycott effort is as much a public relations campaign as it is a hit at the bottom line," he says, predicting that the campaign his group is organizing will do millions of dollars in damage to BP's corporate image.

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