Angry BP Backlash Growing Across the Country

On YouTube, anger at BP is just a mouse click away.

"They are destroying the Gulf of Mexico!" says one video.

"Oh hell yeah it makes me feel real mad!" says another.

In fact, Stanley Morton is mad enough to take his yard clippings to a nearby BP station and create his own spill.

"Oh lordy, look what I did," says Morton in a video. "Look at what happened to my yard trash."

And it was a BP sign that got trashed by vandals at a gas station in New York City, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

"I'm very disappointed in BP. I feel like I would never ever want to support them," says Thomas Buckley.

The Facebook page calling for a boycott of BP now has nearly 300,000 followers.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

The YouTube videos echo the boycott sentiment with shouts of, "Let's organize this boycott," and "Boycott BP," and "Every time you see BP, you just drive right on by."

But here's the problem. BP gas is sold at 11,700 stations in the United States, but BP actually owns just a small number of them. Most BP stations are owned by small business owners who then sell BP gas, owners such as Mark Sapozhnikov, whose station was also vandalized. He doesn't want to be blamed for BP's problems.

"I am not with BP. I am just marketing their product because product is good. But I am not in love with BP," says Sapozhnikov.

After the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, a one-day boycott did nothing to dent that company's bottom line. This time around Greenpeace says instead of a boycott, people should press Congress to regulate offshore drilling.

"The most important thing that's going to hurt BP over the long haul is more regulation, more oversight, more investigation of their misdeeds," says Greenpeace's Kert Davies.

Meanwhile, BP's public relations offensive isn't getting much help from its CEO, Tony Hayward, who at times seems tone deaf to the loss of life and livelihood in the Gulf.

"There's no one who wants this done more than I do," said Hayward over Memorial Day weekend. "I want my life back."

Wednesday in several major newspapers the company ran a full page ad saying, "We will continue working for as long as it takes. And our efforts will not come at any cost to taxpayers."

But it's the price already being paid in the gulf that has so many so upset.
  • Ben Tracy

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