“You see their market dropping significantly already. Americans are already dissatisfied with BP,” said Nicolas Loris, a research assistant at the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. “I don’t think a boycott is going to enhance that message any more than what the marketplace is already doing.”
One relevant example is the boycott of Citgo, which is owned by Venezuela. In 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made controversial remarks about the United States' war in Iraq, which led many activists to call for abandoning Citgo fuel. That boycott accomplished virtually nothing except for a temporary downswing in business for locally-owned gas stations.
It’s easy to think that walking away from a store leads to decreased revenues for that product, but that’s simply not the way it works when it comes to the oil and gas industries, said Loris. Things like consumer protests and government regulation simply don’t have the “oomph” to deal with the problem.
“BP is to blame, and they’re responsible for the spill, but the unfortunate thing is that they don’t have the technology to deal with the leak,” said Loris. “Meddling isn’t going to fix that problem.”