Wednesday, September 27, 2006

7-Eleven to drop Citgo as supplier

Venezuelan gas too loaded with political baggage

HOUSTON - A week after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called George W. Bush “the devil,” convenience store chain 7-Eleven Inc. said Wednesday it will stop selling gasoline from Venezuelan-controlled Citgo Petroleum, but both companies denied the actions were linked.

Chavez angered the White House and its supporters when he called President Bush “the devil” in a Sept. 20 speech at the United Nations and said the podium still reeked of sulfur after a Bush appearance there.

You see, he angered "the White House and its supporters," so now we're all left to deal with severe cuts in one of the only gas suppliers not directly fueling the Middle East war machine. You'd think an administration so intent on pissing off everyone would have thicker skin when someone criticizes them.

“Regardless of politics, we sympathize with many Americans’ concerns over derogatory comments about our country and its leadership recently made” by Chavez, 7-Eleven said in a statement.

Let me tell you, I am so gosh-darn offended about Chavez calling Bush the devil! And I'm glad that 7-Eleven retaliated by removing that country's stock from their pumps. Because everyone knows that a president's remarks speak unequivocally for 100 percent of his nation's population. And that the American people deserve fewer choices because of it!

7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris told Reuters that was not the case. The decision to drop Citgo, a subsidiary of Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA, was made well before the speech, she said, and based on 7-Eleven’s desire to sell its own branded gasoline.

“People are making it out to be more than it is,” Chabris said.

Well, we're all a little jaded on the connection thing since 9/11 somehow became the war in Iraq. Suffice to say, the timing of this decision does seem a tad convenient.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is STUPID! We're going to start boycotting gas suppliers because their home country's president makes a crack at Dubya? In case you haven't noticed, almost ALL gasoline--as well as 90 percent of the products we all enjoy--originate from countries that hate us in some sense. At this moment, the United States is probably at its nadir in terms of world support; are we going to boycott everyone else as well, especially if our alternative is to deal with our enemies? Even a majority of this country disapproves of Bush. Are we going to stop buying American? Even more than we already have?

Moreover, this decision is economically hypocritical. Once upon a time, we allowed market forces to determine whether or not a company remained in business and/or in a partnership. But in this day and age, once a business has gotten on Bush's bad side, we no longer even have the choice. It's as if conservatives realized that their zeal for boycotts isn't terribly effective, so they must shut down any possibility that others will not participate.

I always advocated purchasing Citgo gas in the first place, because it burns cleaner and (can I stress this enough?) its profits don't go toward Mideastern warlords. Also, it's generally cheaper. And that's when I'm not buying Louisiana gasoline. Which, admittedly, is lately, since I currently don't have a car. And bike fuel is as cheap as it gets!

But if you're in the mood for some good ol' American chest-beating, then don't let these facts get in the way. Go on believing that purchasing gas from competitors is somehow not enriching people much worse than Chavez, who offered discount heating fuel to poor Americans (and who is not currently calling for the destruction of the United States).

I dare you to stomach the MSNBC comment thread on this affair. Some choice comments:

Good for 7 Eleven. Regardless of its motives, it sends a clear message that we back our President, irrespective of which party he is from.

As Americans...sometimes WE should shut up. We critisize our own, publically. Makes us look like wus to the rest of the world. And then they think we are soft. We are soft....because we don't stand behind ANYTHING together as a nation.

When will you people realize that no one, I mean no one likes us. Why? Is it jealousy towards our lifestyle or towards the God that we serve? [...] Thank God for real leaders like Bush who don't run on every poll that's out there. I don't agree with everything he does but at least he's true to his word, and hasn't brought any disrespect to the position he holds.

Any real American, despite their ideas about politics as a whole, is bound to buck up when an insane leader, such as Chavez, makes derogatory remarks about the most powerful man in the world.

And my personal favorite:

I think everyone should drop Citgo Gas and kick them out of the country. We should not be funding the evil ones to help them undermine our country.

Anyone willing to take this sentiment to its logical extreme will win my admiration. They will also find themselves in great shape, as they walk everywhere. Which actually isn't a bad idea.


Nick said...

I quite purchasing CITCO gasoline a couple of years ago, so my boycott of them has nothing to do with Chavez's comments at the UN. He's a nutcase just like the Iran leader, so I laughed at his Sulphur joke.

Sure, any gasoline we purchase is going to profit either terrorists or terror dictators, which is why I've also advocated that we stop purchasing oil from OPEC and other Middle Eastern companies and opening up the OCS and ANWAR while we work on real, affordable alternative fuels, even giving huge tax breaks for those who purchase hybrid vehicles.

The difference is that CITCO is a company, in reality, that is owned by Chavez's government, while Exxon-Mobil, while owned by greedy businessmen, is not owned by someone who wants to see the destruction of the United States.

Ian McGibboney said...

My point is that Americans have no problem buying fuel that props up neo-fascist dictators in the Middle East; but when one middling leftist president in South America weakly criticizes Bush, they all go crazy with righteousness. "Ooh! Chavez is a boogeyman! Boycott CITGO!"

Even if ANWR was the answer to all of our problems (it's not), it would still fuel the Bush war machine. And even if we turned this entire country into an oilfield, it's doubtful our current situation would improve in the Middle East. But it might destroy the Alaskan wilderness.

In the short term, what needs to happen are tax breaks for hybrids (like you said), while conversely removing tax exemptions for SUVs. We also need to seriously subsidize alternative fuel research. And, most importantly, vote the oil whores out of office.

Grady Roy said...

Chavez 4 life!!

Nick said...

I don't see ANWAR as a solution to our problems, but it can serve as a band-aid while we work to prefect our alternative energy production.

As for the wilderness, less than 2% of the whole refuge would be used, and oil rigs and pipelines are the best places to fish in the Gulf of Mexico due to the warmth serving as a singles bar for the fish.

Regardless, we need to stop doing business with Chavez and OPEC and other Middle Eastern countries run by Islamic fascists and terrorist sympathizers. I've said all along, by buying oil from OPEC, the U.S. government is funding both sides of the War on Terror, our side and the terrorists.

Phillip said...

What we should really do is stop daincing around the idea and finally make cars that can run on dead poor people. The elderly who can't afford medicine anymore, the occasional deaths from natural disasters, casualties from wars... it's an endless resource that has yet to be tapped. Time to feed the babies to the rich.

JTekell said...

Actually, I can verify that 7-eleven has been scheduled to drop Citgo as their gasoline provider for months. I have a friend that works in the 7-eleven corporate office. If I didn't have inside info I would probably have jumped to the same conclusions given the situation.

JTekell said...

Again this seems to have lost my comment, unless my computer is just not showing me the comment.

What I said previously is that I have a friend that works at 7-eleven's corporate office and this has been a done deal for months. The time of the event is coincidental. If I had no inside information I would have drawn some of the same conclusions.