May 14, 2010  

Public Citizen Urges Boycott of BP

BP Should Know That Its Irresponsibility Is Unacceptable; More Than 5,000 Have Already Signed Petition

WASHINGTON, D. C. - If you drive a car, boycott BP.

That’s what Public Citizen is calling on the public to do in the wake of an April 20 explosion on a BP-leased rig that is causing 210,000 gallons of oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Already, more than 5,000 people have signed to Take the Beyond BP Pledge at https://www.citizen.org/article/public-citizens-response-bp-oil-spill-disaster.

“Eleven oil workers are dead. One of the largest oil spills in U.S. history continues to worsen. Yet BP continues to doubletalk on its responsibility and its liability,” said Robert Weissman, Public Citizen’s president. “BP must pay. A consumer boycott will deliver that message and give people a way to act on their anger. We are urging people to send a clear message to BP that its shoddy oversight of this project and its history of environmental and worker safety violations is unforgivable.”

The pledge asks people to boycott BP gas for three months. Public Citizen has also launched a Facebook group, “1,000,000 Strong to Boycott BP.”

“BP made a conscious decision not to install a $500,000 safety device that could have prevented the Gulf disaster,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program. “A company that made $14 billion in profits in 2009 - a bad year - refused to spend a fraction of a percent of its profits to safeguard against what is fast becoming the worst oil spill of all time. The sheer greed at the expense of safety and the environment is mind-boggling.”

 BP has one of the worst environmental and safety records of any oil company operating in the U.S. BP has pleaded guilty in just the last few years to two crimes and paid more than $730 million in fines, penalties and settlements for environmental crimes, willful disregard for workplace safety and energy market manipulation. (See http://publiccitizenenergy.org/2010/05/05/cost-of-doing-business-bps-550-million-in-fines-2-criminal-convictions/ for details.)

 “There are other places to buy gas,” Weissman said. “While no oil company is a stellar corporate citizen, BP is a particularly bad and irresponsible actor. We want the company to feel the extent of the public’s wrath.”

Added Slocum, “the BP disaster highlights the need to stop offshore drilling expansion and end our national addiction to oil. It also emphasizes how crucial it is to hold Big Oil accountable. The BP boycott is a way to start.”

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit public interest organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.