Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How much will you pay?

Several weeks ago I got an email forward from my Mr's very sweet little grandfather telling us not to buy gas yesterday (the 15th) because we were going to boycott gas that day and force prices down. My Mr's cousin hit reply-all and said "won't we just fill up on the 16th?".

Sad but true. According to today's Tribune, the "boycott" wasn't well supported... Boycotting gas stations for one day does absolutely nothing to bring the price of fuel down. Because, as my Mr's cousin said, we'd just fill up the day after.

I'd like to suggest a more effective boycott. Instead of not filling up on one specific day, how about cutting your gas consumption in half. Walk or ride your bike more. Plan trips in the car so that you can get all your errands done at once. Don't drive unless you have to. Maybe it won't do much to bring prices down (I, like Doug Wright "Don't understand the oil business..") but it will save some money.

My Mr. has been riding his bike and pulling our 5-year-old in the bike trailer every morning to go to school. I've been walking with the baby in the front-pack and the 3-year-old in the stroller, to pick him up in the afternoon. My Mr. has been riding his bike to work every day that he can (his truck is a company vehicle and sometimes they need it for work stuff). Instead of going to the store "real quick" to pick up something, I'm doing without until I have a bunch of errands to run at once- I'm hoping to limit outings like that to once a week or less.

My prediction is $4/gallon this summer. Is that enough to make you change your driving habits? (and I'm really wishing I owned a diesel or hybrid right now...)


Tyler Farrer said...

I can't say that I supported the boycott, but my visits to the neighborhood refinery to pick up some "crude" have definitely stopped.

I'm going cold turkey. No more sludge for me! That ought to have a real impact.

That being said, I think that those who favor alternative fuels should be jumping for joy that the price of gas is climbing ever higher.

What better to hasten our move to the next best technology than overpricing gas?

derekstaff said...

Every couple of years this sort of boycott day comes and goes, and every couple of years I sigh in exasperation. Like you said, everbody is going to buy the day after or before, and everything will even out on the oil industry’s accounting ledger. Its just silly. I tell everyone exactly what you did: cut your gas use! That is the only thing that is going to make a change. Superficial shows of protest just aren’t going to cut it. As long as people are driving to visit their neighbors less than a fifth of a mile away (seriously, people in my old home neighborhood in Kaysville do that!), the oil companies are going to keep bending us over the barrel.

Good for you and your mister for trying to make serious change!

BTW, my uncle was filling up his SUV the other day, and jokingly complained about paying $80 to fill up his tank. The cashier asked him “how does $120 sound?” and told him that $5/gallon was likely this summer. Whether she has any clue, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Nor in some ways will I be upset, as I discussed on my blog here.

Charly said...

Good post Al! This is something near and dear to my heart as well (well, living green anyhow - reducing our oil dependence is just a part of that). Jase rides the bus instead of commuting to work and we grow our own veggies and have joined a local CSA but this issue of gas usage is hard for me. Everything is soooo spread out out here. It's hard to go anywhere without having to drive. So keep up the good suggestions!
PS> Still love reading your blog on a regular basis, just don't have time to post much:)

Allie said...

Go Tyler! Say no to Sludge!

(Although really, as much as "overpricing gas" might help push other technologies, until everyone catches up with whatever the new technology is, paying for gas is putting a squeeze on some people's ability to pay for food (which is already being squeezed by paying for health care). No more fancy restaurants I guess!)

Derek- if gas hits $5/gallon this summer- we may have to cancel some of the extended-family vacations that require lots of driving.

M.A. said...

I have my student bus pass, and am going to buy J a summer youth pass. We live so conveniently on the bus line. Hooray for mass transit!