Closing NJ Lukoil gas stations hurts us, not Russia (Opinion)
It’s almost like cancel culture meets political theater.
Last week the City Council of Newark voted to revoke the businesses licenses of Lukoil gas stations in their town. This was supposed to show that they stand with Ukraine. U.S. Senator Cory Booker couldn’t get to a microphone fast enough.
“This is the good news,” Booker said. “The demand for workers right now is really, really high. People are desperate to hire folks.”
Like a typical Democrat, he was thinking only of the workers at those shuttered gas stations and not the owners.
Many of these Lukoil gas stations in New Jersey you see are franchises, meaning locally owned. People put their life savings into these, take loans against their homes perhaps, in a perfectly legal business deal that is now swept out from under them like it’s meant nothing.
What about them? This is fair? This is freedom? Frankly, it sounds more like something Russia would do to its citizens.
U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J. 7th District, got face time, too.
“We have plenty of gas stations. There are franchise opportunities in this country that are not Lukoil,” he said.
Yes, he actually said that. In other words, these heartless politicians are fine with playing cancel culture to local business owners just to hurt the parent company back in Russia to, in theory, somehow bring Putin to his knees.
Except it won’t. If all the sanctions and the severe international banking decapitations the United States already imposed on Russia haven’t slowed the stream of tanks into Ukraine then our silly moves against locally owned franchise gas stations will mean nothing except cheap virtue signaling.
Oh, and Lukoil in Russia? That parent company has officially been calling for peace and an end to the violence.
Sal Risalvato, as executive director of the NJ Gasoline C-Store and Automotive Association, knows a thing or two about how all this works. Unlike Malinowski and Booker. He joined us on-air Monday as we broke down these moves and you can listen to that conversation in the 5 o’clock hour here.
He points out a lot of these franchisees who signed multi-year agreements did not even start out under Lukoil. Many of them were originally under Mobil or Getty then were bought out by Lukoil and had their name slapped on the signs.
Now for some real entertainment in all this buffoonery and posturing check out what Gov. Phil Murphy had to say about gasoline prices going through the roof.
“At this point with Russia given what Putin is doing in Ukraine, we’re all going to have to swallow hard and take it. This is completely unlawful," Murphy said. "This guy is a complete and utter thug. He’s a war criminal and if it means we all have to take a little bit of pain to break this guy then that’s what it’s going to take because that’s what we need to do."
If politics and sparing two nuclear superpowers from direct conflict keeps trained American soldiers off Ukraine soil then how is it American civilians’ duty to break Putin by not having enough money to take care of our children? As always these are pretty words from petty politicians that prove worthless.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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