Question

At this writing in 2013, British Petroleum (BP) is on trial in New Orleans to assign blame for the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill threatened marine life while also severely damaging the Gulf’s economic, recreational, and aesthetic contributions to American life. The Gulf appears to be healing itself more quickly than expected and the economic consequences have been mitigated by BP payments. Although the company continues to carry a stigma in the American market, it seems fair to say that media attention and public concern have abated.
Soon after the 2010 spill, a critic at a locally owned Des Moines, Iowa, BP station berated customers and the station owner by saying: “Do you realize you’re buying from a company that’s polluting the Earth?”
1. Should we blame local BP station owners for the Gulf spill? Explain.
2. Should we boycott those stations? Explain.
3. Several years have passed. BP has been brought to trial and has made significant reparations. For how long, if at all, should our purchasing decisions be shaped by corporate misconduct as damaging as the Gulf spill? Explain.


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  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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