I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve issued a few posts that discussed fuel prices, how they’re manipulated by “Big Oil”, and, most importantly, that decried the ongoing negative environmental and geopolitical effects on all the peoples of our world which result from our inability to kick our collective addiction to oil. I, furthermore, can sympathize with the frustrations of those who wish to do something about these matters and can admire, at least to some small extent, emotionally, if not intellectually, the spirit behind those who wish to promote this “Gas Out” on May 15th. That all being stated, however, I have to state plainly that such an action is based on false urban myths and equally faulty logic and, as a result, will have no effect whatsoever on gas prices nor oil company profits.
Here are some of the obvious fallacies with the proposed "Gas Out” on May 15th effort:
The myth that this will lower gas prices - Unless the boycotters do not drive their cars on May 15th, their overall gas consumption will remain exactly the same. Boycotters will simply pump more gas either immediately before or after May 15th. and the companies will, ultimately, sell the exact same amount of gas that they would have, with or without this boycott. Furthermore...
No "Gas Out" occurred in April 1997 - Even after an exhausting search of the internet, I could find no record of any "Gas Out" having ever occurred in April 1997. Even if one did occur, it, as I similarly project above, obviously did no good, as the claims that this non-event caused gas prices to drop,” 30 cents a gallon overnight” are not borne out by the statistics provided by the US DOE at:
1997 - Unleaded Gasoline Statewide Averages:
The weekly California statewide average prices are compiled by the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) from a telephone survey that includes a sample of 38 California gasoline stations. These stations were sampled with a likelihood equal to the company's proportional size to the total annual volume of gasoline, by grade, sold in California.
Price Per Gallon Of Regular Unleaded By Date:
4/28/97 - $1.374
4/21/97 - $1.381
4/14/97 - $1.384
4/7/97 - $1.372
As you can see, during the course of the month of April ‘97, there was actually a slight increase in fuel prices, not a 30 cent decrease, as claimed in this ridiculous email that’s circulating.
So, hey, be frustrated about skyrocketing gas prices, if you want. I don’t blame you.
And don’t buy gas on 5/15, too, if it will make you feel better psychologically. More power to you.
Just don’t delude yourself into thinking that your actions will really have any effect, because they won’t. Fuel prices will continue to spiral upward without end, until we find a replacement for oil - period.