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I've now seen several postings on this board advocating a boycott of Exxon's products without any real concept of how difficult that task would be. Exxon is not only a fully integrated fuel company, but a major chemical company in its own right, and an important supplier to the entire chemical industry. There are many products that benefit our lives which do not have the ExxonMobil logo on it. Whether they like it or not, these advocates would probably find it impossible not to be buying Exxon products. Here's just a few examples:

Gasoline - If they don't buy Exxon gasoline they have no way of knowing whether their gasoline might have come from an Exxon refinery. It's not unusual for some refiners to manufacture gasoline to anothers specifications and sell it to them. It's more economical than trucking gasoline half way across the country. If they buy an off brand, which doesn't have it's own refinery, then where do they think that gasoline came from? It didn't grow on trees.

Heating Oil/Domestic Gas - Same situation here. Where do they think their local heating oil supplier got his supply from? Heat with gas? Exxon is a major supplier of domestic gas to the North American market. Once your utility buys it, you have no way of knowing its origin.

Diapers/Garbage Bags - Huh? Well Exxon is a major supplier of a refinery gas called propylene. Some of this is purchased by chemical companies and converted to acrylic acid which is then polymerized into a material used as the absorbant layer in diapers. A similar gas called ethylene is converted to polyethylene, which Exxon also makes, and is used in part for garbage bags. No way of knowing if you're diapers and garbage bags are made with Exxon materials.

Motor Oil - Easy, I won't buy Exxon motor oil. Wrong! If your motor oil company doesn't have its own refinery, then it must buy its basestock from someone who does. Exxon is a major supplier of quality basestocks. Ever hear of isobutylene? Probably not, but Exxon is one of very few suppliers of this material which it converts to a compound called PIB. This in turn is converted to compounds called PIBSA and PIBSAPAM. The point? These compounds are used as the dispersants in almost all motor oils to suspend sludge and protect your engine.

Car Upholstery/Electrical Wiring/Shower Curtains - Again another huh? Well Exxon has a major petrochemical plant in Baton Rouge where a material called DINP is made. It's use? Well its used as a vinyl plasticizer in car upholstery, insulation on electrical wires, and shower curtains to name just a few. Buy a car? house? shower curtain? Speaking of cars, ever hear of butyl rubber used in car tires? Exxon has.

There are hundreds of more examples I could cite ranging from rubbing alcohol, to plastic containers, to water based paints. The point? A boycott is not very practical, fortunately for us shareholders, and is probably not going to succeed. There is a forum called the shareholders meeting where shareholders are free to comment on the companies policies. Why don't they try that? It got to be better than being a "cry-baby".
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