Gasoline is the product widely used on the daily basis. Fluctuations in price of gasoline on the world’s market are influencing entire economies because so many industries are dependable of this natural resource. British Petroleum or BP originated in Great Britain with the first gas station opened in 1921. In 1998 BP merged with US-based Amoco oil company and rebranded most of its retail gas stations into BP brand by 2001. Today, BP has the second largest number of retail gas locations in the US and its largest foreign company traded on the NYSE. 
BP’s mission statement is describing what the BP stands for and it can be summed in four words: innovative, responsible, performance driven and progressive. Under “Responsible” section in mission statement BP states: “We are committed to the safety and development of our people and the communities and societies in which we operate. We aim for no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment.” 
In 2010, BP oil spill has had devastating effects to the environment as well as humans and wildlife in the Gulf region. This oil spill could become the worst oil spill in history, since the leak was releasing some 5000 barrels of oil per day into water. 
Now, some of you might ask how come the company has not been publicly crucified or lose the licence to operate? The reason might be in BP’s political activities and its relationship with the government. 
BP is one of the largest political donors, thanks to the soft money contribution to political parties. Since 1999, BP has spent almost $61 million on lobbying federal government.
In addition, a number of lawmakers have been personally investing in BP, allocating large sums of money for their personal gain. Potential inside trading?

5 responses »

  1. Jeff Galloway says:

    It is very interesting how easy BP got off with regards to the oil spill. Political donations were clearly a big deal, and it shows how much influence our government can have over our media. Of course, that’s a whole different topic to begin with, but it’s an eye opening thought.

  2. Jordi says:

    Is BP a company you feel closer or more interested in? Lots of our other posts were about products people use. Gasoline is such a commodity, it is hard to see if brand identity might matter that much.

  3. Jordi says:

    Also, just so you know, “soft money” was a term from the 1990sto the mid 2000s that meant large donations to parties that they could use as they wished. Some campaign finance law (perhaps McCain Feingold?) changed the rules of the game. This gave rise to something called 527s (like swift Boat Veterans for Lying about the Truth ((snark)) in 2004).

    Here are two very good resources:
    How Stuff Works!

  4. […] Buying Politicians (BP) since 1999 ( […]

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