Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fuel for Thought

There is another one of those ignorant e-mails making the rounds this week, trumpeting May 15 as “No Pump Gas” day in reaction to record-high gasoline prices.

Beware the Ides of May.
There’s nothing magical about today.
Not pumping gasoline today isn't going to hurt the oil companies at all, and in fact, the only people it’s going to affect directly will be the station operators—your neighbors—who may feel the pinch.
For some gasoline retailers, Regular-unleaded is a loss-leader--and not buying might do them a favor!

The goofy thing about these stupid movements is that they create spikes in demand on either the day before or the day after the designated “no-pump” day, and the net result is an average of demand for gasoline.

You want to bring down the price of gasoline—reduce your overall demand.
In other words, reduce your personal usage.
Drive less, save more.

Yesterday, reformulated-gasoline futures fell more than 2% as the national retail gas price average hit a new record high of $3.07. The bearish bet is that increased prices will finally lead to decreased demand.

The problem is, for many of us, we can’t not drive to work, we can’t not go to the store, etc. There are some transportation functions that are hard-wired into our lives.
Sure, we can consolidate trips.
But sooner or later, you're going to have to fill your tank again.

If you really want to spend your time and energy in a meaningful way, call your congressperson and demand that they allow for more refinery capacity, less government interference, and support for a meaningful energy policy for America. Or maybe just suggest that members of Congress travel like the rest of us.

Foolish e-mails calling for stupid boycotts is a misallocation of your resources, and in this issue, being resourceful is the key.

1 comment:

Wally said...

I saw this morning that as you've noted, there's very little slack in the amount of driving the average Harris County resident can do. Thus, according to the report, people are having to cut back on other activities such as liesure activities, and discretionary shopping. Yea, driving less would be a great idea if doable. What I find so unfair is that so many of us are paying a higher price for gas because so many others are driving exhorbitantly large vehicles. The fastest way to cut U.S. consumption would be to immediately outlaw the sale of the V8 in passenger vehicles and light trucks, but until then, those who drive frugally such as myself, (I drive a four cylinder light truck), are stuck paying more because those who are little affected by the rise in gas prices, i.e. the rich people, drive around in Hummers, Tahoes, Suburbans, Expeditions, Escalades, etc. And yea, I've heard the argument that people are free to choose how much gas they waste, free to chose how big a vehicle they can drive, but by the same token, those types of rights used to end where others noses begin.