Fuel boycott emails still circulating, still dead wrong
The “gas boycott” scheme, where the price of gas will go down if everyone doesn't fill up for a day, will never work, period. That does not keep those old “gas boycott” email messages from making the rounds. Resource for this article: Gas boycott emails still circulating, still dead wrong.
No one ready to stop
Every year, fuel costs go up, people grumble about this, people who have nothing to do with gas costs are blamed for them, and new life is breathed into an old chain email. The email goes something like this: One day, in the late 1990s, a bunch of people in a sleepy little town somewhere in the Midwest or Canada didn’t buy fuel for a whole day and the price dropped by 30 cents overnight. Therefore, do not buy gas on a given date and we will profit.
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It’s been making the rounds for some time. There are, for instance, recent reports of the gas boycott email appearing in inboxes in Canada, according to the Windsor Star. A post from April, 2011, discusses it on AOL Autos, and it has been floating around, according to Snopes.com, since at least 2000.
Just a story
Evidence does not support things such as the fuel boycott and urban legends, but that does not stop them from existing. Just a little bit of a story is enough to keep it going.
If people only understood how the fuel system worked, they would realize how ridiculous the whole notion is. A gas station makes 75 percent of its profit off of selling snacks that are overpriced but paid for anyway. Gasoline is not their biggest cash producer. In fact, a gas station typically only brings in about 4.25 percent of the cost of the gas; they would only make $2.99 if someone paid $70.36 for their gasoline. That is not very good. This is because gasoline stations do not really control the price of gas. A boycott would make no sense when they will not even be affected.
Usually about 7 cents per gallon really has to be paid to credit card corporations for processing the transaction. That means gasoline stations are even making less money on top of having to pay state and federal taxes, according to Buffalo News.
Here is the reality
Nationwide gas price trends are watched carefully, and they are even published by the Energy Info Administration.
Fuel prices are mostly influenced by the cost of crude oil over everything else. As of February 2012, it accounted for 72 percent of gas costs. It was only 53 percent in 2000 and 68 percent in 2010, which means those prices are also increasing steadily.
Snopes on the gas boycott email: http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/nogas.asp
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