BP boycotts hurting locals

This morning's article, "Ill Will at BP Stations" (June 15) highlighted the recent experiences of several BP station owners throughout Maryland. While some BP retailers have in fact dealt with isolated incidents of consumer concern and a few of the BP locations we supply fuel to have noticed a slight drop in sales, a majority of stations have not noticed much, if any, decline in sales.

Overall, we are very grateful that motorists and consumers in Baltimore and throughout Maryland realize that boycotting BP stations only hurts the independent, local owners and operators of the stations and local distributors, like Carroll Independent Fuel.

It is important to note that every single BP-branded station in the state of Maryland is locally owned and operated. There are zero stations owned by BP corporate. Boycotting these stations only serves to hurt small business owners and their employees, not a massive overseas corporation.

I have spoken with protestors, concerned citizens and station owners. I understand and share their frustration over the oil spill in the Gulf and the motivation they feel to do something about the disaster. Most understand that these events are out of our control (and that of the local BP station owners) and unfortunately, there are no easy answers.

As a family-owned, Baltimore-based company, Carroll has provided essential fuel products and services to businesses and individuals in Maryland and beyond for over a century. We have been an active, contributing member of the communities we serve throughout our history. Carroll Independent Fuel and it's retailers have raised and donated millions of dollars to Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland in addition to many other nonprofit and civic organizations. We take pride in serving our community and being a good neighbor. We are thankful that most of our customers understand that boycotting BP branded stations is not the most effective way to channel their concerns over the events in the Gulf.

John Phelps, Baltimore

The writer is president of Carroll Independent Fuel Company

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