Can CITGO survive Hugo Chavez?

Sam Eaton Sep 28, 2006

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.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.