Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It's Time to Boycott Citgo

I've been mulling this over for while, because, well because it's complicated. Citgo is owned PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela) which is a Venezuelan state-owned company. In the United States, Citgo refines and sells petroleum products to a group of distributors.

Citgo gas stations are not owned by Citgo but by independent businessmen who buy from the distributors and some of these distributors own stations themselves. Operators of Citgo branded gas stations don't necessarily have to buy all of their gas from Citgo and similarly Citgo products can end up in the tanks of other branded gas stations. All of this is because gasoline is a fungible commodity. So the link between your neighborhood Citgo station and Hugo Chavez is relatively weak one.

A successful boycott could hurt a lot of Americans, but Hugo Chavez' rhetoric has been so hyperbolic and annoying lately, that I've decided it's worth it. If we could put pressure on the gas station operators, they may complain to Citgo's Houston headquarters where the employees are divided (old time oil people and Venezuelan Chavistas). Furthermore, perhaps the gas station operators could find a way out of their deals with Citgo and align themselves with other oil companies.

I used to fill up at Citgo a lot. They usually have very good prices and I liked the idea of trying to stay away from Middle Eastern oil (although Citgo also buys some Middle Eastern Oil). Nowadays I try to fill up at Hess or Marathon. Whether it works or not, I don't want a company so closely associated with mini-fidel to get any of my business.

Say "no" to Citgo!

¡Dí­gale "no" a Citgo!


Tremenda Trigueña said...

Condu, if we don't buy Venezuelan or Middle Eastern oil, whose oil are we going to buy?

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Well, there's Mexico for one. Then there's domestic production. But it's about making a statement more than the actual pain we can cause Chavez. Oil is a fungible commodity. Once it's on the world market it's in a big pool from which the country of origin indistinguishable. That's whay even if we bought zeo oil from the middle east, it wouldn't affect those countries. The supply that would have gone to the US goes to other countries.

Juan Paxety said...

Wait. Hugo said he was going to cut gas prices for us po' folks in the U.S. I planned to go to the nearest Citgo station and demand a big discount.