Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gulf Coast: New Territory

DISCLAIMER: I do not consider myself a fan of BP, I don't own BP stock, but I am a parent and feel that there are some things a 4 1/2 year old should not have to see.


I have never done a post like this, but just feel like I cannot remain silent on this issue. For those of you that follow me on facebook you know I took Mini K to her first Lilly P. Warehouse Sale this week. I will do a separate post on it, because I want it to reflect how much fun we had at the sale.

What I and more importantly Mini K saw at the BP gas station on our way home was anything but fun. I understand that people are upset that an entire way of life not to mention part of our country might never be the same after this disaster, but i also understand that NO company would wish this type of disaster on themselves. I also know that the BP gas stations are franchises...and the profit margin on a gas station is SMALL. In other words the people who own one gas station are not worth millions...if they own 50-100 stations maybe.

We stopped to get gas, and yes we stopped at a BP station to find an angry mob, that felt compelled to scream hateful things at the poor employee behind the counter that rings up your tank of gas and diet coke (or at least that is what he did for me!) This man did not make an oil rig explode, he didn't destroy a coastline he is just trying to provide for his family.

The great thing about this country is that we have the freedom to choose...if you want to end our need for oil and make a statement about the oil spill you could buy a hybrid, boycott BP or a multitude of other things, but screaming at people 10+ states away from the Gulf Coast who make $10 an hour is not going to help ANYONE. I just want everyone to think about one thing: If BP goes out of business who will pay to clean up the Gulf Coast? My guess is you and I, and our children.

It was after this scene, on the drive back, that Mini K asked what is the Gulf Coast. It made me realize that she might never see the Seaside or Point Clear I saw as a child, but she will see how amazing the people on the Gulf Coast are yesterday, today and always. The Grove house is making a statement of support, and this summer we are going to take Mini K and Baby C to the Gulf Coast. Marie sent me a great email today and I am going to book a place tomorrow.

So this is what I want to know from my Gulf Coast (Alabama Florida readers) where should we go and what should we do...send me all of your suggestions for restaurants, children's clothing stores, any other can't miss stores, museums, etc. I am also researching where we can volunteer for a day with Mini K.

I know this post is out of the norm for me, but I think we can show the next generation better behavior than screaming at people who had nothing to do with a problem. The President has (FINALLY!) asked for a meeting with the CEO of BP and I hope that the CEO stands behind the sign that is posted at the gas stations, and I have posted below.

The Gulf Coast and its residents need our help now...so buy some shrimp at your grocery store(thankfully there is still a supply due to cold storage), order something online from a business located on the Gulf Coast or board a plane like we are this summer and just GO!


16 comments:

kp said...

Great post! I read today that BP does not own one gas station, they are completely franchise owned. By veering away from the BP stations, you are only hurting a small business owner. I hope people can get past their rage and understand. How great to take Mini K to the Gulf Coast!

Kappa Prep said...

Well, as always you and I are on the exact same page. I have actually been tweeting about this and was quite shocked to read that many people I know are choosing to blame anyone with BP involvement. However, a minimum wage worker has NO say in how a company is run. They need to take home a paycheck and feed their family just as bad as the next person. To blame them is totally irrational and really says something about ones' character. Of course it is devastating what has happened in the Gulf, but it has now happened so we need to find a solution and deal with it. Perhaps our President could pick up the phone and call the CEO of BP? (He may have in the past week, but to my knowledge he had not before then). We are going to get nowhere by blaming innocent people and by boycotting BP stations we will onlu hurt hard working Americans!

Henley on the Horn said...

You are so right. You made me tear up on this one. The poor underpaid BP employee deserves none of what he received, but we should all turn our support to local Louisiana and Alabama businesses. I read something on Facebook last night about how the shrimpers are now turning their boats into oil spill clean up vessels or tour boats to show the devastation. Sadly, many of the beaches are closed due to this spill, but we will start researching some good businesses to support and I will spread the word. In fact, I'm going to link back to you in a little while!

AnneG said...

Great post. Agree with you 100%. There is alot of irrationality behind people's anger at BP -- no doubt fed by Some in positions of power in Washington feeding the "all corporations are bad" and making money is bad" mentality. That makes me sad but it also causes the focus to move off of solving real problems created by the spill -- like loss of people's livlihood and how government can best help the people and industry of the Gulf prop themselves up. When someone recently went off on BP to me, I said "Don't you think if they could plug the hole, they would?" A bad things happened but the little BP franchisees shouldn't be blamed and we should use this experience to think seriously about our dependence on oil, looking to drill on land more and not miles under the sea which can be unpredictable and maybe motivating our leaders (by exercising our rights at the ballot box) to get to work on a real comprehensive energy plan for the future.

Black Labs and Lilly said...

I totally agree. The owners and employees at the BP gas stations are not the ones who should be subjected to taunts and aggressive action from protestors. Perhaps people who are that angry should focus their energy on supporting clean up efforts, or raising funds to assist with this disaster. Everyone is angry about this, but choosing to chanel that energy into positive action is what is most important!!!

Bethany said...

You're so right! How generous of you to think about volunteering with the mini. It is so important to instill those values in our children and you're setting an excellent example.

PS Be sure to stop by www.marylandpinkandgreen.com for the Follow Friday blog hop to share a link to your blog. It's a great way to discover new preppy blogs.

bevy said...

Thanks for this wonderful and insightful post. Like Mama Henley, I feel compelled to link this post...

Bevy in South Carolina

Emily said...

Hopsy sent me over to read this because we have been discussing the very same thing that you posted about for a couple days now.

It irks me that people want to boycott and hold protests at these gas stations because they are branded BP. As you pointed out, being branded BP does not mean that you are part of London based BP Corporation. This behavior is so counterproductive. It doesn’t solve the problems in the gulf caused by the rig explosion and it has very little effect on BP Corp’s profits. It makes things worse for the people who own these stations who are just trying to pay their bills and support their families. And even the employees of BP Corp who work in the refineries and on the rigs should not be blamed. Many of them have nothing to do with the decisions that are made at the executive operating level.

I wish people would do more research about BP. BP fuel is sold under their logo as well as unbranded gas, which is in turn sold at warehouse clubs (Costco is a major purchaser of BP fuel), grocery stores and other stations under another name. They also are one of the top suppliers of fuel to the airline industry and at ports where BP fuel and products are used to help ship goods across the world.

The truth is that business and commerce couldn't function as it does today without the products supplied by BP. And to simply purchase them from another oil company such as Exxon Mobil or Chevron, which have both also been responsible for major environmental catastrophes, doesn't solve the systemic regulatory problems within the industry that set the stage for the gulf blowout. That's why expanding offshore drilling, as President Obama and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle propose to do, is such a bad idea.

Any negligence by BP that led to the spill will come out in the coming months and years, and we will need to hold accountable elected officials who have the power to penalize BP Corporation and strengthen regulation of all oil companies.

Trish said...

So very well said. We have to support the Coast right now!! I am linking to this post right now!

Her Preppiness said...

Wonderful post!! I totally agree with you!! People have to get past the rage and their immaturity!!

Donna said...

Agree, Agree, Agree...great post!!

EKM said...

you can volunteer at the daulphin island sea lab which has been heavily affected. it's over the bridge in Mobile. If you stay at the Grand, this would be very convenient!

Sassy In The South said...

Wow, great post! I agree with every word in it. Go to any of the beaches on 30A in Florida. Since it is a family trip, you should definitely try to find a house or condo in Seaside. Destin is always great, too. But, it is a little bit more crowded. Let us know what you decide on! :) Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom!

TB said...

Such a wonderful post! Come to Seaside. We need the business. As you know this area is a small little town that relies on the tourists who visit from June-Sept to keep our local businesses afloat. We need the people who truly love the area to come and show their support so that all of the little shops and restaurants will survive. If you decide to come this way, I'll chime in on some must see spots for you to visit. Thanks for this post. From someone from the Gult Coast it means a lot.

Whitney and the Preppy Puppy said...

What an excellent post. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

Ruby's Fairy Godmother said...

Great post! In fact, I am driving to Disney World with my Goddaughter Ruby and we decided to spend the night in Destin tonight....Next week, we'll also come back and spend the night here!! I haven't been out to the beach yet, but this is my favorite area in all the world!
Thanks again!
Norah