On Friday, we told you about how the People's Republic of Bee County passed a resolution asking their citizens to boycott Exxon/Mobil until gas prices tumbled to $1.30 a gallon. Our take was that this was a futile act of civil disobedience since even a widespread, grassroots movement to shun the Dallas-based energy giant would cause a shortage for the other favored gas companies who in turn would be forced to buy gas from, you guessed it, Exxon/Mobil. Oil is a tradeable commodity, and you can't single one company for punitive action while continuing to patronize others. If you really want to stick it to the Exxon-Mobil, take the bus to the office, buy a hybrid or car pool. This also helps clean up the air.
But a boycott makes for a much better public relations stunt. Bee County Judge Jimmy Martinez, in a letter he sent out this week, says that his county's officially sanctioned protest has garnered attention from Fox News, CBS News, the BBC and 50 radio talk shows across the country. A state representative from New York (surprise!) contaced Bee County for a copy of its resolution so she can introduce something similar before her fellow lawmakers. Meanwhile, Martinez seems to be channelling the faux populism of Michael Moore in his letter. To wit:
"While no member of the Bee County Commissioners Court holds a degree in Finance or Economy, we are committed to the voice of the people. As public servants we are obligated to listen to the masses and act accordingly. If we do not stand up for this principle our government will no doubt become an extension of giant corporation whose only concern is to post record profits, in 2006. Exxon has recently surpassed Wal-Mart as the most profitable corporation in America, yet Wal-Mart did not raise its prices. Exxon Mobil Corp.'s $36.13 billion profit in 2005 was a record for any American Company. This is the United States of America, not the United States of Exxon/Mobil."
Sounds like a hit. --Matt Pulle