The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

Public Citizen Urges Boycott of BP

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


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

"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 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 addition to oil. It also
emphasizes how crucial it is to hold Big Oil accountable. The BP
boycott is a way to start."

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

(202) 588-1000