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Consumers,fed up with high gas prices, are starting to ... Consumers,fed up with high gas prices, are starting to fight back (basykes, Flickr).
With nationwide gas prices hitting an average of $3.80 per gallon this week, consumers are truly feeling the pain at the pump. And, as a result, they're starting to fight back.

Several campaigns across the Internet and on social media platforms, especially Facebook, have recently popped up, asking consumers to organize for "National Gas Boycotts." The thinking behind these campaigns is that if a large number of participants skip buying gasoline for the day, demand will plummet and prices will follow in suit, just like we were taught in Economics 101.

The boycotts certainly aren't new. In fact, there seem to be rumblings of mass protests every time a dramatic increase in gas prices occurs. Because gas prices have hit record highs for this time of year, we're starting to see them surface again.

One popular status update and mass email has been urging people to recreate "history" by boycotting gas stations on April 15, 2011.

"GAS OUT APRIL 15, 2011. In April 1997, there was a 'gas out' conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight. On April 15th 2011, please do not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices... Please re-post this to your status if you agree!"

On Facebook, the frequency of reposting has been increasing, according to All Facebook, meaning that the word is getting out and more and more people are signing up to skip the pump this Friday. And given the nature of social networks, awareness could still easily increase exponentially.

But even if every American that is on Facebook (51% of the population, aged 12 and up) signs up to boycott on April 15 and actually goes through with it, will it really make a difference? Will the evil oil companies really lose out on billions of dollars after one day of no sales like the calls to action promise?

In a word, no.

The fact is that what dictates the price of gasoline is far more complicated than the boycotts would have you believe. What you pay per gallon at your local gas station is based on a complex combination of what goes into finding and refining crude oil (transportation costs, exploration, profit, etc.), the operational costs of the gas station (which include marketing and profit) and, of course, state and federal taxes.

The perennial ups and downs that gas prices experience are mainly driven by the first part of that equation, which is why you see gas prices spike when natural disasters strike near refineries (Hurricane Katrina) or civil unrest threatens crude oil production (Middle East protests). Because of this, one day of low gasoline sales in the United States simply is not going to disrupt that equation in any significant way.

So while the thought of protesting high gas prices is a good one, we'll have to look for a much stronger action to take than a one-day boycott. We certainly don't want to discourage anyone from participating, of course, because the boycott can work as a symbolic gesture. If enough people stand up and protest perhaps our movers-and-shakers may become more and more motivated to look for the energy alternatives for which we are becoming increasingly desperate.

Until then, we recommend you numb the pain at the pump by driving slower, keeping your tires inflated and carpooling whenever possible.

Will you be participating in a gas boycott? Tell us in the comments!


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  • 139 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      @jparls25.. Gas should more expensive than what it is.. It's easy to blame Obama for everything. Fact is that America has lived on credit for over 30 years by carving out our manufacturing sector with buying cheap goods from China, then redirecting the funds to the Middle east. This is so we can hold on to the Amercan dream of driving our mega inefficient SUV's and over sized cars. Drilling in US will do absolute nothing to curb our appetite. But keep driving your SUV's and make sure you make another stop at Walmart so that you can stock up on some extra China made products.. Let's have more leadership like like Rick Scott, Florida Governor, who chose to stop a train system, build more golf courses, and pad their own pockets with money.. That's American leadership that our Republican party has become and that is why we are in the predicament that we are..
      Delfino
      • 3 Years Ago
      for get about not buying gas for a day or a week, lets just on drive for one day and see what happens
      jfsny14626
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mr Obama said there's nothing he can do to ease the price of oil - President Obama is against off shore drilling for our country, he signed an executive order to loan 2 Billion of our taxpayers dollars to a Brazilian Oil Exploration Company (which is the 8th largest company in the entire world) to drill for oil off the coast of Brazil! The oil that comes from this operation is for the sole purpose and use of China and NOT THE USA! Now here's the real clincher... the Chinese government is under contract to purchase all the oil that this oil field will produce, which is hundreds of millions of barrels of oil". We have absolutely no gain from this transaction whatsoever! Wait, it gets more interesting. Guess who is the largest individual stockholder of this Brazilian Oil Company and who would benefit most from this? It is American BILLIONAIRE, George Soros, who was one of President Obama's most generous financial supporter during his campaign.
      Alton
      • 4 Years Ago
      Boycott one particular company until they reduce their prices like just Mobil oil, Shell Oil or Exxon and then the boycott will be effective. Continue the target for one week and let the others know they may be next in line.
        THE KING OF N.Y.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Alton
        ABSOLUTELY
        Randall
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Alton
        That's the way to get attention. One company at a time selecting a nation wide manf. like Exxon/Mobile, BP. If everyone boycotts just anyone it won't make any difference in the end, but select one, and like other comments suggest, they will get the message. THink about it. Exxon/Mobile are showing record PROFITS with the economy as bad as it is. Should that be fair to us? We're struggleing to survive and they're raking in billions in profits off of our hard earned paychecks.
      uqj0
      • 4 Years Ago
      Drive Slower no dont think so only grandma and grandpas drive slow and the not knoing how to drive ones they scared of the car and let the car control them you dont let the car control you you control the car if you scared of the car you dont need to be driving at all
      • 4 Years Ago
      All of the empty suites in DC,attempting to shift the focus of our national angst,away from them, while demonizing the gasoline co.s for ridiculous profits... The talk falls on deaf ears for me, this President is going to be forced to pay for his failures to provide a sound & workable solution to our nine year issue of oil dependence upon OPEC... Just imagine how many refineries, and deposits we could be utilizing currently... The ONLY way to become energy independent, is to develope & refine our own reserves... But this President does not want lower gas prices, he wants us all to believe in a fossil fuel free world, with unicorns and rainbows... I say it is BUNK, all of it... We allow ourselves to become more dependent upon foreign sources each day we continue to allow our known reserves to remain untapped... His lack of attention to this vital resource which drives the engine of our economy, is borderline treasonous, and he will pay dearly for his defference in Nov.2012....
      haddonfineart
      • 4 Years Ago
      1) We have to Immediately STOP Subsidizing the Gas Companies with our tax money. 2) Everyone in America needs to get together and pick a week and NO ONE BUY GAS for that week, and this will put a hurting on filthy rich gas companies making billions of profit, and receiving our tax money to subsidize them. If not where will it end ???
      uqj0
      • 4 Years Ago
      you damn people are letting them raise gas and putting tax on it you retarted people dont do nothing about it everyone needs to starting putting there foot down about this crap come on start getting mad and having hudge flash mobs and riots till they do something about them gas prices you know washington is behind this wake up stupid tards maybe if you start protesting you dont want to have 5 or 6 or maybe 7 a gal
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are you all aware that all our government officials that we elect into office will get their salaries for the rest of there live, even if they serve only one term. We need to drill in the US for more gas and there are at least 4 places where they can drill and provide us with enought gas for the next 100 years or more.
      '57mad
      • 4 Years Ago
      every year it is the same thing happens the refineries claim they have to shut down in order to switch the fuel mixture but none of the big oil companies offer to build any new refineries to take over produciton of these fuels needed while they cut production in other areas.and every year the govrenment says to be patient and the prices will level off ,but every year the prices go up and so do the big oil companies record profits while the public sits on their hands and allows it to happen. then we have 67 percent fuel taxes that are misused and abused while the same government spends and spends on road projects that seem to never stop, and as far as the unemployment records in this story they are off by half the unemployment in ohio is at 18 percent and the 60 percent that are employed in jobs that are paid weekly are being paid minimum wage 8 dollars or less a hour while costs of fuel,food,electric,natural gas have gone up 7 percent each year since nine eleven. the average cost of living raise in ohio is less than 3 percent. this article is so full of false infromation i can't believe it was allowed to be published on the net. nothing will be done about gas prices because the president and his staff /government want people to switch to alternate fuel source vehicles . the only thing is the people that are hit the hardest can not even afford the gas/fuel for these cars nor the 30-40 thousand dollar price tag that goes with them. whcih the president nor the cabinet/government seem to wan to see as they fly around in private jets and drive gas guzzling fleets of tahoes and limos.maybe if we cut the fuel supply to their jets and fleet vehicles they would get the picture. as peresident washington said when the government fails to serve all the people it is time to remove them from power even if it means civil war. of course our president and the government seem to forget our own history and as the saying goes- when you forget history your doomed to repeat it .. ..........kind of reminds me of nero playin his fiddle while the city /nation burns/goes down the toilet.
      jfsny14626
      • 4 Years Ago
      UNDER Mr Obama the man who had all the answerers ! unemployment is 10% + gasoline is at $4 per gasoline China’s Economy to Surpass U.S. Economy in 5 Years Expert: Mexican Drug Cartels Infesting US, Even Our National Parks we now have a $14 trillion deficit /bush left us with a $577 billion dollar deficit Dollar plunges lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years MR OBAMA ISNT A democrat he is a Marxist that's why the American people are against his policy's.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This president is not more than another puppet of the system. Doing what the owners of the money sas to do.
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