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A boycott of the gasoline stations of one oil company, ExxonMobil, is being urged by chain e-mails, aimed at forcing oil companies to dial down retail prices before a feared summer upsurge. The boycott suggestion may have originated with Florida retirees and seems to be circulating among old geezers. Maybe the young whippersnappers will buy into it, too.

The theory is that by putting retail sales-loss pressure on the largest gasoline supplier, the boycott target, that company will be forced to lower its prices, thus forcing competitors to do likewise. It is predicated on a rumor that retail prices may rise to $3 per gallon this coming summer.

Validity of the theory also depends on what really controls retail gasoline prices - OPEC, oil importers, refiners, EPA requirements for local conditions, variations in state taxes, and local competitive conditions among distributors and retailers.

However, should there be a virtual doubling of retail gasoline prices, it would likely result in much public hand-wringing, particularly in a presidential election year.

It'll be interesting to see what happens. After all, Detroit could again become the whipping boy, suffering from widespread but false beliefs that individual vehicle fuel economy has declined whereas what has actually happened is the public's growing appetite for less fuel-efficient cars, trucks and SUVs. So total fuel demand has grown, also abetted by more miles driven in more vehicles on the road. -Mike Davis


Gas Prices on the Rise Again

Gasoline prices across the United States are moving up again and have reached a new plateau that could prevail all the way to next fall, according to a new forecast by the U.S Department of Energy. The higher cost of energy helped drive up the Consumer Price Index by half a percent in January, according to another report released by the U.S. Department of Labor. Members of the Federal Reserve Board said after the Labor Department released the new report that inflation is not a problem for the economy overall. However, energy prices, the most volatile element of the CPI, have jumped 4.7 percent in January to the highest level in eleven months, the Labor Department reported. Crude oil prices are now hovering between $35 per barrel and $36 per barrel. Gasoline inventories are relatively small. Cold weather across the Northeast and Midwest hasn't helped the situation, analysts said. In addition, OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is vowing to cut production in April even while demand for oil is growing in China and India, which are rapidly turning into major importers of crude oil


http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?n=173&sid=173&article=6886
 

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Bad idea.

I got an e-mail about this last night, so I'm all prepared with my analysis. :D


First of all, it wouldn't work, for a lot of reasons. Secondly, if there's enough support for such a thing to even have a chance to make just a dent, that's enough people to make much more of an impact in any one of a number of other ways. Even just as simple as writing to their Senators and Congressmen, both by e-mail and (very important) regular mail. When a lot of people do that, it has an enormous impact. And it doesn't need anywhere near as many people as you'd need to make any significant impact by boycotting Exxon-Mobil.

Besides......Exxon-Mobil is one of the most widely-held stocks. Chances are that a good many of the people who get contacted about this are shareholders in the company, and something tells me they may be reluctant to boycott the company.


So I say, take that energy and put it into a better strategy.


Interestingly......Way back when, like 1970, I was at a meeting where we cooked up a scheme like this -- different cause but exact same thing. We wanted to put economic pressure on the government to pull out of Viet Nam. So we figured, why not do something that will hurt some big company, and then they'll be with us. Our first thought was CARS -- let's pick a car company, and we won't buy any of their cars, and we'll get the rest of the country to do the same thing. (We thought big. :D ) But immediately somebody said that won't work, people are gonna get the cars they want anyway. So somebody else said "gasoline," and then somebody said, "OK, what company?" And somebody said Exxon, so that's what it was. For years after that, I was still avoiding buying Exxon. It must have been 10 years later before I realized it didn't make sense any more, the war was over for a long time. If it ever made sense. But, I dunno, maybe we did make the country pull out of Viet Nam. :D
 

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As Americans, we have the luxury and pleasure to be paying next to nothing for our gas - even the premium stuff.

For a reality check, take a trip over to Europe or the Caribbean and see what the rest of the world pays for their fuel - $4.00+ in many cases. There's a reason why the average European doesn't drive a V6 or V8 car - they couldn't afford to fill their tanks.

We live in the most industrialized nation in the world, and we have the luxury to afford expensive cars with leather, A/C, CD players, etc. Even if premium was $2.50 a gallon, we'd still be paying less than half than people in some other nations.

Let's just enjoy our TSXs and drive!
 

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I'm glad to see this thead re-upped -- it's interesting and it could be important.

Hot4carz makes a very good point. Unfortunately people who have to drive a lot and whose budgets are already strained aren't going to take much comfort from that, but yes indeed, for years and years we've been getting off cheaply when it comes to gasoline. I've been very aware of that. The main reaction I have about it is that when I'm abroad and I see how much gasoline costs, I feel bad for the people there.
 

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hot4carz said:
As Americans, we have the luxury and pleasure to be paying next to nothing for our gas - even the premium stuff.

For a reality check, take a trip over to Europe or the Caribbean and see what the rest of the world pays for their fuel - $4.00+ in many cases. There's a reason why the average European doesn't drive a V6 or V8 car - they couldn't afford to fill their tanks.

We live in the most industrialized nation in the world, and we have the luxury to afford expensive cars with leather, A/C, CD players, etc. Even if premium was $2.50 a gallon, we'd still be paying less than half than people in some other nations.

Let's just enjoy our TSXs and drive!
All good points, hot4carz.

Some more points to ponder about. Although the high price of gasoline is definitely one of the main reasons for the boycott, others reasons exist as well:

There's the environmentalist's point of view that the gas companies aren't spending enough to research alternative fuel technologies nor methods to minimize the impacts to the environment.

There's the economist's POV that all the profits are going to the government "fat cats" via all sorts of taxes levied against the gasoline.

There's the consumer's POV that OPEC is throwing around gasoline prices anyway they like and toying with the american public.

Put these POVs together and you're bound to run into these types of boycott. Too bad the gas companies are the ones feeling the brunt of the force.
 
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