Gas Boycott Post Mortem

Well, let’s see what effect the gas boycott of 2007 has had. If you recall, on May 15th you weren’t supposed to buy gasoline, and this would cause gas prices to drop:

“Do not buy gas on May 15. 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.”

Let’s take a look at how the gasoline market reacted. Below are the closing prices for June gasoline on the NYMEX starting on May 14th:

May 14 $2.30
May 15 $2.30
May 16 $2.34
May 17 $2.42

I don’t think that’s what the organizers had in mind. Anyone seeing your local prices falling?

If you really want to impact gasoline prices, you have to cut demand. You must actually cut your consumption. Instead of not filling up for a day, ride your bike to work or take public transportation during the next boycott. Those are measures that actually reduce demand, and will affect prices. But that’s too hard or inconvenient, isn’t it? We want to hold on to solutions like boycotting Shell, which will bring them to their knees. Do people really have such a poor understanding of supply and demand?

Currently, the gasoline markets are being driven by low gasoline inventories (supply) plus higher demand than a year ago. Those two factors equal higher prices. To lower prices you have to increase supply or lower demand. Deferring your purchases for a day will accomplish neither.

7 thoughts on “Gas Boycott Post Mortem”

  1. Yes, people really do have such a poor understanding of supply and demand, at least when it’s applied to energy.

    It is critical (and discouraging) to remember that we live in a microcosm of energy awareness, particularly those of us in the US. Sometimes I find myself looking around me and wondering how many of those people have any sense of just how bad things are.

    The sad answer, I believe, is not very many at all.

  2. Oh well, nothing that $10/gal can’t fix.

    With the rash of refinery outages announced today and yesterday, it could get pretty interesting unless a lot of imports hit the shores.

  3. Instead of a gas boycott what needs to be organized is a gas free day. Target one day where you either don’t use any gas or significantly reduce your usage.

  4. I am sorry if this is in the wrong place or wrong group.
    Acting Together Will Make A Difference! visit now!
    Our objective is to Force the gas companies to lower their gas price by asking the consumers in Canada and in the United States NOT TO PURCHASE ANY GAS from the selected gas companies posted below.

    We can have a significant impact on the price of gas IF WE ACT TOGETHER to initiate a GAS PRICE WAR!!! So Please Start The Boycott Now!
    Until futher notice WE DO NOT BUY ANY GAS from the following companies
    – Esso
    – Petro-Canada
    – Shell
    – ExxonMobil (all Exxon Mobile Gas Stations)
    – Esso
    – Shell
    YES, WE CAN WIN BUT…It is absolutely NECESSARY To continue purchasing our gas ELSEWHERE Than at the posted gas stations above and this, until we reach our objective. And, MOST OF ALL, HELP US

    Please visit and join us to implement it.
    NO PROTEST! All you have to do is to remember the next time you fill up, STAY AWAY from SHELL, PETRO-CANADA, ESSO, and All ExxonMobil Gas stations.
    “BOYCOTT” is the only option left for us to fight against this crazy gas prices, unless the government involve and regulate the gas price somehow!

  5. These absurd gas prices need to be combatted every which way possible.
    On a smaller scale, i have found a company site that conducts home audits and ultimately cuts down a lot of energy usage at

  6. A boycott is a great idea. However it is impracticall in the way it has been suggested to this point. We are dependent upon gas. When our tanks are empty we are going to fill up.

    I have seen a long list of companies that people say we should boycott. No one is going to adhear to that entire list.. Some might boycott one or two companies on the list but will be giving thier money to others on the list. Thus the boycott will not work. If you want it to work we should limit the boycott to one company and its subsidiarys at a time for a month at a time.

    Beginning in July boycott Exxon-Mobile. During the month do not buy anything from Exxon-Mobile. No gas, lottery tickets, beverages, snacks, etc.. Go to the mini marts and small stations instead.

    Aug boycott Texaco-Cheveron and in Sept Conoco-Phillips. This way we can still fill our tanks and send a big message to big oil.

    If you see the potential of this kind of boycott here is a address that you should tell people of as you are able.

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