Stop Sending Those “Don’t Buy Gas” Emails

Thanks to the recent run-up in gas prices, many of our email accounts have become cluttered with chain emails asking us to boycott major gasoline stations on a certain date in the future. The reason being, we’re pissed about having to pay so much for gas and if we all band together for one day and refuse to buy gas, we’re supposedly going to cost the major gas companies billions of dollars and force them to drop the price of gas.

For those of you who continually forward these emails to everyone on your contact list, please stop. This is one of the most ridiculous ideas out there and it would never work.

There are plenty of extremely logical and obvious reasons why this tactic would never work, yet most of us tend to overlook these as we focus on trying to place blame for the nearly 40% jump in the price of gas since the end of February. As is usually the case, logic tends to take a backseat to emotion.

That being said, I’m going to try my best to explain why this idea won’t ever work in the real world and why you should automatically delete any emails like this that you may receive.

The first (and most obvious) reason is you are simply delaying the purchase of the gasoline you need; we’re not actually decreasing the demand for gas (which might bring the prices down), we’re just shifting the demand to another day in the very near future.

For example, let’s say that 100,000,000 people decide to join this boycott, which causes 1,000,000,000 fewer gallons of gasoline to be purchased on that particular day. In theory, this would cost the major gas and oil companies about $3 billion in revenue.

However, you mean to tell me that during the next couple of days that those 100,000,000 people aren’t going to go back to the gas stations to purchase the gas that they didn’t buy the day they were boycotting? Of course they’re going to; they still need all that gasoline in order to get to work, drive the kids to soccer practice, etc.

There wasn’t a drop in demand, just a shift in demand – which means that the gas companies don’t actually lose the $3 billion in revenue, they just get it within the next couple of days.

The second reason is if for some insane reason this boycott tactic actually worked and did cause the gas companies to lose money, do you actually think that these companies would lower prices to gain back the small percentage of their total annual revenue that they lost? I highly doubt it.

The more likely scenario would be these companies would actually slightly RAISE prices in order to try and collect some of the money that they may have lost.

Hopefully it has become pretty obvious that the only way we’re going to be able to save money on our car’s gasoline is to reduce the demand for gasoline by driving less and driving more fuel efficient vehicles. It’s not going to come by some crazy scenario where we boycott gasoline stations for one arbitrary day.

So on that note, please take me off of your spam list.

Comments

  1. When this thread was made gas wasn’t near 4$ a gallon yet, now it is, and now America is in serious trouble.
    A week or 2 ago truckers tried to strike the gas prices, but once again, WE ARE NOT UNITED IN THIS COUNTRY!! and the effort was futile. That was what diesel was 3.99 gal. Now its 4.20!!! And still climbing!

    Airlines going out of business because of gas….You going to ride a bike out of the country? Or take a bus across the Atlantic?

    Act like you all have some kind of education, and common sense!!!!!

    YES I AM PISSED AT PEOPLE LIKE THE FOOL MADE THIS THREAD. YOUR WHY OUR COUNTRY IS FALLING APART!
    Damn there are so many stupid people with higher educations its unbelievable!!!!

    • Your ability to compose the English language is on par with a child.

    • There is more common sense, and sadly truth in the above few sentences than most 100 page propaganda put out by any Governmental agency, Economist, News Organization or collective group of any kind. Luckily or maybe it is just bad luck, the collection of self serving Lemmings have not found enough cliffs to walk off of.

      We the People are being taken for everything we worked for, most things we believe in, and simply trying to combat it, bothers some dope because his precious e-mail box has a few suggestions to fight back. He or she is probably running out of space to collect more fart jokes.

      Well put, well said, I don’t suppose you could run for Political office, because this is the kind of common sense that might be able to start putting a stop to what will eventually lead to this Country, going right down the toilet. And we are headed there fast and without a fight.

  2. It just dawned on me something….

    People want the “stop buying gas” e-mails to stop. And there solution is walking, buses, hybrids, ect, ect….. That IS the act of stopping buying gas!!!!

    DUHHH!!!!

    And the hybrid is cutting way back on gas buying.

    So by telling people to walk or take a bus, or ride a bike, you are also telling people to

    STOP BUYING GAS!!!

    hypocrites

  3. David,

    What point are you trying to make? I think the point of the article was to say that by simply sending around an email saying “don’t buy gas on May 15″ we won’t actually decrease gas consumption. The real answer to the problem is to decrease fuel consumption and move towards cleaner, sustainable and renewable sources. Not entirely sure what your rant was about.

  4. Thank you! One other person out there who thinks this is riduculous.

    http://www.gmilburn.ca/2008/05/14/oil-strikes-and-gasoline-boycotts/

  5. Typical 22yr old female says:

    I hate getting these emails! Text messages like that come on my phone too. I hate the gas prices too, who doesn’t, but the question is, what do I really do about it? Noone I work with lives near me so capooling is out of the question. I don’t have the money for a new hybrid/electric car. I never go anywhere, like the store or to a friends or anything else, unless it is on the way to or from work. I have looked up gas saving tips and try to drive better to conserve fuel. Still it is using gas and that is how the companies profit. What happened to american inginuity? Why are there not vehicles that run on cheaper power? I have heard that individuals have made cars that run on various other fuels but can’t market them because the government and large companies profit too much from gas fueled cars. Someone told me the government wouldn’t do that to us, but I don’t see why not, they do take 41% in taxes from the oil companies profits. Simply put I think we need to force the gas prices down or simply stop using gas. Refusing to buy gas on a certain day seems pointless to me, you have to buy it at one point or another so why do the companies care which day you do it? I have a 2 coworkers who ride a bicycles to work, I have begun to think this is a great idea for saving gas and also for getting in better shape(I am in no means even overweight but everyone needs exercise) so with my next paycheck, the gas money is going to buing a bike. Need groceries? Add one of those bike trailers to the back. If you live too far from work then maybe there is a halway point you can leave your car at and bike the rest of the way. I recently saw a guy driving an electric scooter. I’m sure some people will read this and laugh at the idea of riding your bike to work, but as you laugh remember I am no longer paying $250 in gas each month.

  6. David Again says:

    Ok now the whole world has to stop buying gas. All the econimic leaders say there is more demand than supply. Thats why were paying 4 bucks a gallon. And if the world doesn’t seriously cut back, the united states will be in a crisis like never before.

    If every one had listened to the annoying stop buying gas e-mails, there would be no supply and demand problem.

    Like the typical 22 yr old female, we’ll all be forced to “stop buying gas” Ironic huh?

  7. Mrgreen says:

    The only reason why hybrid’s were made was so gas companies could still make money. Hybrids have 45mpg. While this high and you would save fuel, the necessity for fuel is still apparent especially if your driving 70 miles a day to work and back. You are right in saying that gasoline is only a small part of oil usages but hypothetically everyone who works has vacation days. Lets say you had 100,000,000 people take off for a week no one bought gasoline at all. Of course to do this people would need to sacrifice everyday activities to not drive. But lets say if everyone started this boycott for a week with a full tank which would contradict a bit. But you would be going a full week without using or buying fuel then the next week cars would be fueled enough to go another couple of days without refuel. Fact of the matter is the fuel cost isnt going down, and no one really cares enough about it to do much of anything. Were all a bunch of survivalists just trying to get by. We have to work have to buy fuel we have to support our families. Its a shame so many of you forgot how this country was founded in the first place. There is no more unity, no ferocity. I dont even drive anymore since the gas hikes but then again I live in NYC and public transportation is abundant. So instead of using our own fuel we support our transit system and you know what that isnt helping the problem either. In order to make things work people will need to stop their lives, put everything on halt. Return to a society that supports one another and takes care of our neighbors. Only then will we see the error of our ways and perhaps maybe one day fuel prices will go down and we might be able to stop wars and throw out officials that does not meet the demands of the people. We are the only ones that have the power. This idea might be a bit unclear but take it for what it is. A rant from Mrgreen. But then again hopefully it might spur an idea or two and invoke some awareness to how bad situations can actually get. Some people might hope for the next election to change things. Nothing is going to change unless we change them.

    • Also well put, but I am afraid many are unaware concerning hybrids and totally electric cars. While you might not use gasoline directly where do you think electricity comes from? Lightning? An electric car has to be charged from a power plant, most are coal burning plants, some nukes, very few, but some. So we go from oil to coal, at least we have coal, and power plants do work to scrub coal, they work to re-burn the exhaust that boils the water to make electricity.

      How many know that coal plants or nukes, either one, boil water that produces steam that turns a generator? It is not efficient, but it is ours.

      Until everyone decides to learn the truth, not from the 6PM news either, and then do something with the truth, the criminals that we put in charge of us have taken advantage past anything anyone ever expected, both parties, term limits and education, and an ounce of guts would go a long way. But no time for that, gotta check that e-mail, might be a fart joke in there.

  8. PERSONALLY I DO THINK THAT IF EVERYONE WOULD TAKE A “REFUSE TO BUY GAS TODAY” DAY, IT WOULD HAVE AN EFFECT ON THEM. THIS WOULD BE ONE DAY THESE COMPANIES WOULD DEFINITELY NOT BE MAKING MONEY AND IT WILL HURT THEIR POCKETS…

  9. Paul White says:

    That’s right Wanda. Don’t buy your fuel today. Buy it tomorrow. That should show those lousy fuel companies!

  10. Brian, you have stated something correct in saying that a mere repositioning of demand wont reduce cost and may actually increase cost due to speculated losses on the oil companies part. However, I disagree that lowering demand in general will cause the gas prices to go down since the oil companies will just raise prices again to get the same money they are used to out of fewer people buying less gas. I don’t believe the supply demand crap in this instance. 5 years ago they were saying that It would cost a meager 50 million to build a decent refinery,
    mean while oil companies profit 40 BILLION a year. The supply shortage is just an excuse to continue raising the price. Meanwhile gas is only $2 per gallon in Mexico, and $4 per gallon here. What we need to do is get “TOGETHER” and put the smack down.

  11. Emmaline says:

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  12. The point to this boycott is not to “NOT buy gas on one day” its to stop you from buying gas from a CERTAIN company for the rest of the year.

    Obviously you need gas, and just not buying gas one day a year is pointless, but think, if the same 100,000,000 people that this article talks about stop buying from 1 or 2 gas companies do you really think they would hold strong in these insanely high prices? Of course not, they would be forced to lower their prices to lure customers back.

    The logic is sound, the ability to be effective however is questionable. Fact is, the majority of people are either unable or unwilling to band together in these types of causes. John Doe is driving home, and needs to get gas, if the only gas station around is one of the boycott companies, he wont think twice about stopping for gas, it might not even cross his mind that he actually wanted to participate in the boycott.

    The real problem is the monopoly these companies have on gas, and it will take a lot more than chain emails to make a difference.

  13. Modrew Diaz says:

    Wow, if the country didn’t get together and fight for civil rights we wouldn’t have them either. I will let you know when one person boycott’s it works. When we don’t buy a product the supply goes up and the price goes down. Could this be common scene. Big oil is very greedy they want every dollar every day. If the American public will go one day with out gas they can go two days and then more. Then people stop using the expensive stuff and move on to fuel that Americans can afford. YOUR article is very scary I hope most are like me and find it your opinion and not a fact!!!

Trackbacks

  1. neymo.net says:

    Stop Sending Those “Don’t Buy Gas” Emails

    Thanks to the recent run-up in gas prices, many of our email accounts have become cluttered with chain emails asking us to boycott major gasoline stations on a certain date in the future.

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