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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Will a one-day gas boycott help?

Once again, there's an email going around encouraging drivers to boycott gas stations on May 15. The idea is that if millions of Americans refuse to buy fuel on one day, prices will come down.

The problem is, people who buy gas every few days or even every week will simply fill up on May 14, or wait until May 16. The oil companies won't notice a thing.

If American motorists really wanted to do something to affect the situation, we wouldn't simply refuse to buy gas on May 15. We'd refuse to drive on May 15. We'd walk, bike, or take the bus. (Forget carpooling this one day, OK?)

It's one thing to have a bunch of drivers not buying gas on one day.
It'd be another entirely if those drivers simply refused to drive.

Or as petroleum analyst Marc Routt told the Detroit Free Press: “The only thing that does work, in terms of lower prices, is a change of lifestyle and habit.”

4 comments:

danielo said...

I agree completely, but I take this issue one step further. If EVERYONE completely gave up petroleum-based transportation for one full day, it would have ZERO impact on the pocketbooks of the gas companies. I find it hard to believe they wouldn't just jack up prices a cent or two and make it up the next day.

The solution to the excessive profits the companies make is simple: stop buying gas. Not today, but forever. Or at least, stop buying so much gas. The change must be permanent, not for merely one day.

Julie in Boise said...

danielo,

I like how you moved from the impossible to the doable in that comment.

Tell people to stop buying gas and they'll say, "Yeah, right."

Ask them to buy less, and they may - especially at $3.25 a gallon.

If everyone used a few gallons less each month, the oil companies would notice - and freak out.

coolboisescott said...

I find that a gentle persuasion has traction and it gets people thinking and talking about global warming or related issues. See Tim Kempf's Letter to the Editor for 5-7-07 (http://www.idahostatesman.com/106/story/82657.html). Tim has some good ideas for the solution.

My neighbor's kid thought this was a good idea (gas out) and took it to the teachers at his school hoping to announce the idea over intercom! );

Bikeboy said...

This notion gets tweaked and recycled every year. Buying your gas on the 14th, or 16th, instead of the 15th will have ZERO impact. (The oil companies oughtta lower the price 10 cents on the 15th... then we'd see how many pathetic motorists would honor the boycott.
(-;

This was discussed on my Bike Nazi blog a few days back:

http://bikenazi.blogspot.com/2007/05/show-big-oil-whos-boss.html