Can CITGO survive Hugo Chavez?

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: 7-Eleven will no longer buy its gasoline from CITGO. CITGO is part of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Last week, Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez made some nasty remarks about President Bush. So do we smell a boycott, here? More now from Sam Eaton.


SAM EATON: 7-Eleven says the move to end its CITGO contract was part of a long-term strategy to launch its own brand of gasoline, but the company also says Venezuelan President's Bush-bashing comments didn't help.

CITGO's ties to Venezuela have made it a target for those offended by Chavez's remarks.

But analyst Tom Kloza with the Oil Price Information Service says this week's backlash isn't likely to grow into a full-scale boycott.

TOM KLOZA: People shop by price, they don't shop on the basis of principle. And the history of any kind of boycotts against gas stations or brands indicates that none of them have seen any traction through the years.

Remember the Exxon Valdez? Kloza says if Americans really cared about where their gas came from they wouldn't be driving so many gas-guzzling SUVs.

In Los Angeles, I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.

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