Fallout from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is being felt close to home.
Millions of gallons of crude oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20 when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana. So far, efforts to stop the leak have failed.
Philipsburg-based Snappy's Convenience Stores has decided it will no longer sell BP Oil products at its Bald Eagle, Philipsburg and State College locations. Snappy's will begin selling its own Snappy's brand of gasoline.
(Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec)
Customers frequent the BP Oil store on Plank Road Thursday. While the future of the Altoona BP Oil store is uncertain, Philipsburg-based Snappy’s Convenience Stores has decided it will no longer sell BP Oil products at its local stores.
"We are debranding BP. We will no longer be associated with BP by the end of the month. We are doing this because of the backlash and bad publicity from the handling of BP's catastrophe," said Sean Lay, vice president of operations. "We don't want to be associated with them any more. We've had enough."
Lay said he has noticed a slight drop in business at the locations that sell BP products.
"We want people to know we don't own BP. We want to make sure we are politically correct, and that is why we are separating ourselves from BP," Lay said. "We want to focus on the positive things we have done over the past 15 years."
Public Citizen, founded in 1971 by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, recently launched an online BP Boycott Pledge that has collected more than 11,000 signatures from people promising to forgo all BP products for three months.
A Facebook group called Boycott BP - whose insignia features a crossed-out BP logo - urges people to avoid BP stations and affiliated companies.
In Altoona, the BP Oil and Subway sandwich shop at 100 W. Plank Road is expected to close this month. An employee at the shop, who did not give her name, said the shop will close by the end of June.
The store manager, when contacted by telephone, did not give her name and said she was not permitted to comment on the situation.
Brian Dinges, director of commercial real estate for Lawruk Realty, which owns the business, did not return multiple voice mail messages this week seeking comment on the closing or if it is related to the oil spill.
In October the business, which had been open 24 hours, reduced its operating hours by closing between midnight and 5 a.m.
Meanwhile, Martin Oil Co., Bellwood, has seen a slight increase in gasoline sales.
"I can't attribute that to the BP crisis," company President Tom Martin said.
No one from Sheetz Inc. was available to comment on whether they have seen an uptick in customers since the spill.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.