Editor’s Note: This is the staff editorial published in the April print issue of The Tiger Print. The opinions expressed in this column were voted on by the staff, with 18 members agreeing and 5 members disagreeing.
An article has spread across social media sites, calling for a gas boycott on April 15 in an attempt to decrease rising gas prices.
According to midmissouri.com, more than 1 million Facebook users have pledged to not buy gas that day. While 1 million people is not enormously high compared to about 150 million total U.S. Facebook users, the number does indicate the growing dissatisfaction with increasing gas prices.
In Overland Park, prices have reached a startlingly $3.79, and they are likely to increase in the upcoming months because of volatility in the Middle East.
To us, this might seem high, however, according to kcgasprices.com, the current national average is about $3.916. A year ago, the national average was $3.69. Less than what Overland Park is paying currently for gas prices.
So, will this gas boycott prove to be effective? Will it decrease the almost $4 price on gas?
According to a vast majority in the media, no.
The message encouraging the gas boycott claims that in April 1997, there was a “gas out” to protest the gas prices, and in result, the prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight.
Yet, in a CNN Money article, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said there was no such drop, and after looking at the gas prices in April, he concluded the price did not shift more than a penny.
Since it has taken almost a year for the national average to rise 30 cents, it is highly unlikely that in one night, it could drop at such an enormous rate.
The boycott does not reduce consumption of gas, but rather simply causes people to buy their gas on a different day — say April 14 or 16.
People will still use the same amount of gasoline for the week, for the month, for the year.
A one-day boycott makes no sense. It didn’t work in the past, and it won’t work in the future.
Will it show the gasoline companies we know how to stick it to the man? Even more unlikely.
What we need to do is either stop complaining about the relatively cheap price of oil compared to most European countries, or, if we are really that desperate for lower gas prices, stop using so much of it.