Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

A better way to "Boycott gas stations on May 15th"

I recently got the “Boycott buying gas on May 15th” email, which hopes to “cripple Big Oil” if only 10% of us don’t buy gas on this day. Brian Carr (no pun intended) rebuts this call to action (or, rather, inaction):

I’m sure by now you’ve received the “boycott gas stations on May 15th” email that I’m talking about – you know, the one that states:

I’m not trying to beat a dead horse, I’m really not. But for some reason this topic has got me pretty fired up – and considering the response I received from my previous post regarding this issue, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I’m sure by now you’ve received the “boycott gas stations on May 15th” email that I’m talking about – you know, the one that states:

“Do not buy gas on May 15, 2007. In April 1997, there was a ‘gas out’ conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight… There are 73,000,000-plus Americans currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about $30 to $50 to fill up. If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000 out of the rich oil company’s pockets for just one day. So please do not go to the gas station on May 15, and let’s try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day.”

As I stated previously, I don’t think this boycott will do a bit of good because we’re not reducing the demand for gasoline; we’re simply shifting the day that we purchase it. You mean to tell me that all of the people that don’t buy gas on the 15th won’t have filled up on the 14th or the 16th?!?

I recommend that instead of forwarding the May 15 boycott email to everyone in your contact list, that you forward the following note instead:

The only way that we will be able to reduce the price of gas is to reduce our demand for gasoline. Thankfully, this isn’t hard to do! By following these simple tips, you’ll likely decrease your gas consumption by at least 10%.

1. Don’t drive if you don’t have to. If your car’s not running, it’s not using gas!
2. Start a car pool at work or for driving the kids to practice. The less cars that are on the road, the less gas we use.
3. Check your tire pressure. Under inflated tires can reduce gas mileage by up to 3%.
4. Replace your car’s dirty air filter. A clogged air filter can reduce your car’s fuel economy by up to 10%.
5. Clean out your car. For every extra 100 pounds you carry in your car, you can reduce its gas mileage by up to 2%, so stop carry around those golf clubs everywhere you go!
6. Take it easy on the accelerator. Gunning it when the light turns green and/or driving well above the speed limit not only increases your chances for a costly ticket, but it will also greatly decrease your gas mileage.
7. Avoid sitting in idle for long periods of time; your gas mileage drops to 0 once you stop moving. If this means you have to leave for work 15 minutes earlier, do it.

While it doesn’t seem like much, if every car on the road were to get at least 10% better gas mileage, we would save billions of gallons of gasoline each year, which would be more than enough to drive down gasoline prices.

While this requires a little more work than simply avoiding the gas station for a single day, the effects of doing this will last for years to come.


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