It's the Environment, Stupid.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Boycott ExxonMobil?

In response to high gas prices some small towns in the U.S. are boycotting ExxonMobil. An article in today's NY Times features a story from The Hamburg Journal (as in Hamburg, NY - not Germany).

Kathleen Hochul, a Hamburg town council member, introduced a resolution calling for such protests. She was inspired to do so after hearing that county commissioners from Bee County, Texas did the same. Hochul's resolution passed unanimously in Hamburg, but not everyone in the town is pleased - especially the local operators of the ExxonMobil stations.

While I'm a fan of picking on ExxonMobil, I don't know that one oil company can be singled out to boycott. Those who don't go to ExxonMobil stations still need gas, and will fill up at a 'competitor' down the road. Plus, there is the question of whether or not it will even make a difference at all to the oil giant's giant bottom line.

I like the fact that people (okay, Americans) are finally feeling the pinch and are making some mild noise about it, but I don't know that those who are steaming over the spike (or even the American mainstream media contributing to this news blitz) are making the connection between oil consumption and the U.S. as a (fuel inefficient) car dependent society. If you decide to boycott ExxonMobil, you'd also better be prepared to stop driving your GM vehicle.


  • I agree. If you want to boycott Exxon because you don't like their practices, fine. But boycotting Exxon because fuel prices are too high and expecting that to have an effect on prices is a bit naive.

    There's been a lot of interesting discussion at the Environmental Economics blog ( on the boycott idea.

    They reach the same conclusion as you - if you want a boycott that will help bring down the price of fuel - boycott driving so much!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19:28  

  • Your last sentence sums it up. Americans (i am one, proudly!) sadly have developed into an "it's not my fault society." We're always looking to blame someone else, even when our own actions are to blame. That's why we have more lawyers in this country than we know what to do with. So we try to blame "big oil." Trouble is, it's not their fault.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 22:11  

  • So, how do we bring about a national "no driving" day - preferably around the busy summer weekends. Do it on a sat or sun so you dont effect people who need to drive to work or school - or do 2 days - one that is a weekend, one that's a weekday for the totally committed to ride the bus/train/bike for a day. I just googled a driving boycott and found nothing!! any thoughts on how to get this idea off the ground??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13:31  


    Feel your being robbed at the gas pump? It's time we take a stand against big oil companies.

    By now I'm sure most of you have received an email saying: "Boycott ExxonMobil", I think this is a great idea but we need to spread the word, be committed, and stand united until gas prices return to normal.

    I have created a bumper sticker magnet to help get the word out. I urge everyone to purchase one and display it proudly on your car. If we can get the word out and have the message be SEEN on a daily basis we can stand a chance of showing strength in numbers.

    Just complaining about it wont change things....action is required and we need your help to spread the word.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16:29  

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