Reports of “environmental activists” boycotting British Petroleum (BP) are popping up everywhere.
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson was just one person calling for a boycott of BP. Student facebookers are joining in the “fight” by joining various groups, including “Boycott BP.” Even a website was set up to get the ball rolling on a BP boycott.
Are these calls for a boycott on BP merited? Liberal activists might not understand economics, but we do – BP gas stations are franchised.
What is a franchise exactly? It’s simply the right to distribute a company’s goods or services – meaning, BP does not own BP gas stations, Americans do. (They only have majority share in 100 out of 900 gas stations in the United States.) In other words, your local McDonalds location isn’t owned by McDonalds, Inc., it’s owned by an entrepreneur that figured, “I’d rather sell McDonalds burgers than my own to attract more customers.”
So BP is not being hurt by a boycott – small business owners are. That’s not exactly hurting big oil.
Another fun fact: Gas station owners don’t make their money on gas at all – they make it in the convenience stores that are often connected to the gas station.
Another fun fact: Gas stations earn the least profit on a gallon of gas when gas prices are highest. So much for the “big oil is ripping us off at the pump” myth.
So the next time you hear a liberal mouthing off about “big oil” and how evil BP is, be sure to rebuke their myths with facts. A little research goes a long way.