Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why the May 15th "Gas Out" Will Not Work

gas prices

I've been receiving a lot more of those "stick it to the man on such-and-such date" bulletins. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

NO GAS...On May 15th 2007

In April 1997, there was a "gas out" conducted nationwide in
protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon

On May 15th 2007, all internet users are asked to not go to a gas station in
protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in most

There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet
network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up.

If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take
$2,292,000,000.00 out of the oil company's
pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on
May 15th and let's try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry
for at least one day.

And here's why it's not going to work. For most of us, if we don't buy gas on May 15th we're not really eliminating the amount of gas we consume, we're just shifting it over by a day or two. The oil companies are going to get their money one way or the other. Let's say enough of us go through with the plan and cost Exxon Mobile several billions of dollars worth of profits for a single day. Exxon, Shell and the others have enough money in their bank accounts to cover themselves for that anomaly, and would in all likelihood raise their prices in the following days in order to compensate.

The real fix isn't so easy, but has been proven effective time and time again. It takes discipline and control. The price of petroleum, like all commodities, is governed by the fundamental tenets of economics: supply and demand. We must collectively agree to curtail our net usage of gasoline in the coming weeks and months which will cause demand to shrink conversely allowing supply to rise and the rates to naturally fall.

I know it's not what most people wish to hear, that an overall lifestyle change need be made, but it's the best weapon we have in our arsenal. Consider biking or public transportation. Do you really need to vacation this weekend or can you organize a car pool? If you apply your creative faculties you'll be surprised by how much gas you'll be able to conserve. All you have to do is think about all the money you're keeping out of the hands of people like this:


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