Blog, 226 words

Corporate Negligence by any Other Name

Resurrecting the Amoco brand would be just a cynical ploy at a time when we need to move forcefully into a new economy that doesn't ravage the environment.

Emily Schwartz Greco

The BP oil disaster is wrecking many things, including company’s brand. Americans don’t seem to be losing interest in driving their cars, but many of us aren’t willing to refuel at a BP pump any more. “Some BP-branded gas stations reported sales declines of 10 to 40 percent from Florida to Illinois,” the Associated Press reports.

One simplistic solution under consideration: Replace BP’s absurdly environmental-ish sunburst logo with the virtually extinct Amoco brand at service stations across the country. Most of those stations, after all, sold Amoco-branded fuel until BP took over Amoco a dozen years ago. Surely consumers are smarter than that, right? Maybe not: ValuJet became AirTran after a terrible crash, the AP points out, and that rebranding helped keep the rest of its fleet flying.

Obviously, we need to change more than the name of BP’s service stations. As Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune recently wrote in an OtherWords op-ed: “We can’t return to business as usual and face another disaster like this. It’s time to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We must stand up to the oil industry, increase our transportation choices, reduce the need to drive, and embrace the clean energy solutions that will create good, lasting jobs while keeping our fresh air, drinking water, and oceans intact. It’s time to protect and treat this planet like the gift that it is.”