BP and consumer responsibility

i realize that when it comes to Big Oil, there are no saintly players, but we do have choices where we gas up, and there's no need for us to continue to line BP's deep, reckless, and irresponsible pockets with our hard-earned cash.

(other BP brands include Castrol, Arco, Aral, am/pm, Amoco, Safeway gas, and Wild Bean Cafe.)

we caught a fascinating and depressing piece not long ago on Democracy Now! about the gulf spill clean-up:

"The use of dispersants is relied on mainly to keep the oil from running ashore. It’s a tradeoff that’s often used in oil spills to essentially keep the oil from spreading in two directions on the surface of the water and send it in three directions, where it can go down into the water column and remain underwater."

The oil doesn't ever really get cleaned up. It just get mixed with chemicals, spread out, and pushed deeper underwater.

awesome, right? it gets worse.

BP is using a toxic chemical dispersant that is wishfully named corexit. it's been banned for years in Britain, and BP can't guarantee its safety because a majority of the ingredients are regarded as trade secret. the EPA asked them to use something else and they said no. (BP also conveniently owns most of the supply of corexit.)

apparently, BP does whatever the junk it wants and the EPA has no spine.

on top of the 25,000-30,000 barrels of oil that are gushing into the gulf daily, corexit is pumped in, too, in a scope never seen previously, causing untold damage to marine life and making at least 86 people sick.  BP's CEO, however, claims they all just got food poisoning, even though exposure to corexit has been linked to neurological disorders, headaches, skin rashes, and tumors.

i'm feeling sick just writing about all of this.

(image credit. thanks to my friend megan who shared on FB.)


m said...

hey girl! I found this article quite interesting on the topic of 'boycotting bp'
i'm always one for a good boycott but it seems it's never quite that simple, especially when we're playing with big oil.

suzannah | the smitten word said...

it's a thoughtful article. really, the only one with the power to truly hold BP responsible by inflicting financial consequences is the federal gov't, who could pull contracts.

i still think there is a principle at play and that franchise owners are not free from all culpability. we all can and should use less oil overall in our lifestyles, but i'd still rather buy gas somewhere else...even if it's not all that different at the station across the street.

pinkdaisyjane said...

Thank you for your thoughtful post. So sad. So scary.

Misty said...

this is a sad post. i was talking w/ a friend yesterday about her annual beach trip (somewhere near houston) and she was saying how her fave thing is the seafood since we landlocked folks dont often get good, fresh seafood. she was musing that next year would look very different.
also, we live in THE hub for several major oil companies, and you'd think people just didn't care about the spill. it's so sad.

Penny said...

the sooner we don't rely so much on oil the better IMO.
This whole spill and clean up thing really riles me up. Terrible, terrible damage.

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