This e-mail is going around:
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 to not go to a gas station inprotest 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 companyspockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry forat least one day. If you agree (which I cant see why you wouldnt) resend this to all yourcontact list. With it saying, ”Don’t pump gas on May 15th”
In the words of Penn & Teller this is Bulls hit! (FCC friendly version 🙂 ).
Simply changing when or where something is purchased has very little impact on the base economics. Whether you buy gas on the 15th or, 14th or, 16th doesn’t significantly affect any oil company. What has an effect is reducing actual consumption so, if the originators of this chain mail really wanted to have an impact on oil prices they’d ask to make 5/15 a don’t use any gas day.
In addition to this not passing the business common sense test, there is also this outright misinformation:
in April 1997, there was a “gas out” conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.
The US DOE keeps track of gasoline prices and provides the data in an excel spreadsheet. Examining the US Regular All Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices excerpt for 1997 shows:
|Date||Cents per Gallon|
So where is that 30 cents/gal drop? There is a slight dip of 2.2 cents/gal centerd in May but that’s a far cry from 30 cents/gal.
U.S. Retail Gasoline Historical Prices
Independent Gasoline Price History adjusted for inflation
Crude oil price 1947 – 2006 in 2006 dollars