It’s That Time of Year Again

There are silly ideas that just never go away:

Subject: Fwd: Don't pump gas on May 15th

  NO GAS  ..  On May 15th 2007. 
Don't pump gas on may 15th. 

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

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

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 (that's almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies
pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May
15th and lets try to put a dent in the middle eastern oil industry for
at least one day.

If you agree (and I can' t see why you wouldn't' t) resend this
to everyone on your contact list with it saying  

 ''Don't pump gas on May 15th".

It happens every year. We get close to the Summer Driving Season ™, gas prices go up because of increased demand, and then this message starts flying around the Series of Tubes and clogging people’s inboxes again. Even if we ignore the flawed math that assumes that all 73 million American Internet users have one car each and fill their tanks every day, it was shown long ago that this type of protest doesn’t work. And it’s simple really: if “everyone” skips buying gas for just one day, “everyone” will fill up on a different day and the overall consumption of gasoline will not change, resulting in absolutely no price pressure. Perhaps Sticking it to the Man by keeping your money from the Evil Oil Companies for one day will make you feel good, but it won’t accomplish anything.

If we’re going to get serious about our issues with gasoline and other oil products, the hard truth is that we need to use less of it, and the only way to ensure that hapens on a macroeconomic level is to make it much more expensive for a very long time, like five years and $5 per gallon. But if we have to pay more, I’d rather see the extra money used to fund research on cheaper, renewable energy sources instead of bankrolling shareholder dividends or other forms of individual wealth, or more ominously, funding the indoctrination of young people into an anti-Western mindset. And bringing these alternatives to market will do much more to lower the price of gasoline than avoiding the gas station for just one day.

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