So Should We Boycott British Pollution?

British Pollu…, oops, sorry Mr. Hayword, British Petroleum, has proven itself an atrocious corporate citizen on many levels. They have recently managed an oil spill that dwarfs the impact of the Exxon Valdez disaster. They have at least a decade’s worth of infamy for not maintaining their facilities and killing their workers the way people died at both Deepwater Horizon and the Texas City Refinery Fire in 2005.

They have invested $16M in regulatory capture. $73K of that went to help elect Barack Obama US President. They wrote large chunks of the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas regulation. They wrote this regulation in order to enlist the US government’s regulatory apparatus to aid and abet their corporate business plan.

When asked what he thought of the oil spill in the gulf, BP CEO Tony Hayword said. “I wish I could have my life back.” So do a whole bunch of the employees that die in your unsafe work environments, Tony. We really ought to just boycott the (decency edits)….Or should we?

There are advantages to teaching BP a lesson. If enough people drive on past BP stations and go elsewhere, maybe Terrible Tony will care about getting his customers back instead of just his life. A well-run business will pay attention to its receipts. BP can handle the EPA by buying themselves a Barack Obama, but they can’t put a gun to my head and make me buy their petrol. Hit them in the wallet hard enough and you reach their hearts the same way the shamans of Quetzalcoatl reached the hearts of their victims.

Or maybe not. I personally haven’t bought from CITGO since the early 00’s unless the alternative involved pushing my car down the side of the interstate. Boycotts work with massive popular support. That occurs when the news people are watching, and the anger at the corporation is still fresh. It’s fun to be one of the cool kids. But over time, if Hugo Chavez has a monopoly on the go-juice, Hugo Chavez will, in fact, win.

Then, there are the issues surrounding who will pay to clean up BP’s negligence. There are two sides to this issue. If BP goes TU, they spin off the US subsidiary, the spin-off declares Chapter 11. Then, the oil stays on the beaches and sea birds and Uncle Sugar Daddy pays to clean up the carnage. On the other hand, if we patronize them enough to make money, they’ll hire a legal team as oleaginous as Orange Beach, AL is right now and wrap the law around our necks. They then skate off towards the next environmental disaster Beyond Punishment.

Also, I can’t think of any oil company that doesn’t play dirty to some extent. They produce a necessary product, they have massive war-chests that they use to corrupt our government, they all run high-risk operations and they all have ties to foreign governments who like to see Americans assume room temperature in large numbers. Big Oil is a corrupt and morally compromised industry.

If you’re looking for a morally pure vendor to buy your gasoline from, enjoy that nice fresh air as you walk, jog or ride your bike to and from work tomorrow. So the question isn’t whether we can find a nice, cuddly oil company, just whether we can try and locate one less atrocious that operates a station near where we live. I think the answer to that, for the nonce is “yea, verily.”

Thus I invite everyone who reads this to join in a boycott of British Pollution’s products and services until the following terms and conditions have been met.

1) British Petroleum will cease and desist from applying for exemptions from the NEPA laws, and will operate its drilling rigs, pipelines and maritime vessels within full and rigorous compliance with American environmental law.

2) British Petroleum will compensate the victims of this disaster fully, completely and well beyond whatever back-room limits they’ve been actively negotiating with their contract employee, Barack Obama.

3) British Petroleum will henceforth invest at least triple their current expenditures on the maintenance and upkeep of their facilities. The people that live near and work at these facilities deserve a reasonable expectation of safety in their daily lives.

4) British Petroleum will strongly castigate London Mayor Boris Johnson for criticizing ,the impact of US popular sentiment on British pensioners. There are quite a few fishermen, tour guides, merchants and stevedores at ports and beaches all along the Gulf of Mexico who wonder about their pensions right about now. While I don’t believe we should advocate in a blog that the corporate officials of BP jam a can of spotted dick about 20 inches down the whinging pom’s esophagus, telling Mayor Boris to correct his severe cranial rectal inversion problem would be appreciated.

If BP does these four things without reservation or intent to deceive, they can rejoin the dubious company of Exxon, Chevron, and Occidental Petroleum. They won’t be as hateful as Chavez Petroleum, oops I mean CITGO. Unless or until these things happen, I refuse to buy from any company that would recklessly engage in high-risk petroleum refining and extraction operations and offer financially support morally compromised individuals like Barack Obama.

I encourage you all to do likewise. We need to give Mayor Boris Johnson a genuine reason to worry about the welfare of his bloody, sodding pensioners.