Mid-Michiganders Avoiding Area BP Gas Stations 7-09-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michiganders Avoiding Area BP Gas Stations 7-09-2010

Some good news came out of the Gulf of Mexico Friday for a change.
The federal official leading the oil spill cleanup says a new containment cap and an additional ship collecting oil could effectively contain the spill as early as Monday. Work to replace it will begin on Saturday.
And while a fix may be on the way, it's been a long couple of months for local BP gas station owners.
Now those owners across the country are considering changing franchises to keep their business afloat.
TV5 found Saginaw resident Gladys Austin filling up her tank Friday, but not at a BP station. She said she'd use any station, as long as it isn't BP.
“I wouldn’t buy gas if this was one of their stations, they’re ruining our coasts,” said Austin.
Almost three months into the oil spill disaster, a lot of people said they are mad at BP and they're fighting back -- fighting back with their wallets, that is. And owners said, based on those efforts to skip over their stations, they're now feeling a pinch at the pump. “Hopefully people will understand that they’re not punishing BP, they’re only punishing small owners like us,” said area BP station owner Onkar Mann. Because of all the publicity from the gulf oil spill, a lot of BP station owners are trying to break their contracts with BP and switch brands, but some are locked into long term contracts and cannot cut ties with the company. So they are cutting their prices at the pump instead to try to keep business coming in. But to some consumers like Austin say they don't care how much cheaper BP gas is compared to the competition, they won't put it in their gas tanks. “I could go someplace else and make sure we’re helping those that are helping us,” said Austin. Other consumers TV5 spoke with said all that does is hurt the independent businessman and running small business owners out of town. “People need to work, they need to get paid to support their families too, so there would be no reason for us to boycott them,” said Saginaw resident Jesse Rodriguez.
But most people TV5 talked to said the same thing Austin did, that they were avoiding BP stations whenever possible.
“No, we don’t go to BP, I go out of my way to go someplace else,” said another person.

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