While truck and car drivers around the world are protesting the rapidly skyrocketing prices of gasoline and diesel fuel by blocking major highways and off-ramps with their vehicles and indeed rioting in some places, one of the worst ideas in "gas protests" is seeing its useless head resurrected all over the US. Here's what was running on the website of a Los Angeles TV station today:
"Drivers fed up with the high cost of gasoline are telling big oil companies to "Kiss My Gass!"
A handful of protesters delivered their message this morning at a Hollywood gas station to kick off a national "gas out" campaign. The five protesters representing a newly formed grassroots group chanted and held signs reading, "Will work for gas money." at the Exxon station at Santa Monica Boulevard and Vine Street.
The group is calling on motorists to stop buying gasoline at Exxon Mobil stations throughout Southern California. Members of the protest group are gathering at specific gas stations, urging motorists to turn around and get their gas somewhere else.
Similar protests are planned for every major city across the nation. While the first target of the boycott is Exxon Mobil, the group also plans to target other major oil companies like Chevron and Shell.
Jasmyne Cannick, 30, said she founded the "Kiss My Gass!" campaign to channel "road rage" about rising gas prices. She says the only way to get the attention of the big oil companies is to institute "national rolling gas outs" each month targeting a specific brand of gasoline. The group hopes to send the message that we "aren't going to keep bending over without a struggle." Organizers are urging everyone to get involved and help spread the word through the use of protests, marches, bumper stickers, and banners. (End of TV station story).
Well, Ms. Cannick, 30, because you weren't yet with us on this earth, and certainly not driving anywhere, during the first couple of "oil shortages" in the early and mid-1970s, you missed finding out why this idea doesn't work the first time(s) it was proposed. In fact, you unknowingly mention the reason in your own press release quoted in part above, when the LA TV station posts: "Members of the protest group are gathering at specific gas stations, urging motorists to turn around and get their gas somewhere else."
"Get their gas somewhere else" means that the oil industry as a whole loses nothing, not one red cent, if consumers follow your suggestion. It's EXACTLY what the oil companies want you to do! Not buying any fuel at all for a day, a week or a month might have some effect, BUT ONLY IF THE BOYCOTTERS DON'T BUY GAS ... AT ALL ... ANYWHERE ELSE!
Because Ms. Cannick is located in Los Angeles, odds are that she has driven past the huge oil refinery operations in the area around the 405 Freeway as it cuts through the cities of Carson, Torrance, Gardena and others. If she looked a little closer at their operation, she'd note that the usually-unmarked, clean, shiny, silver 10,00-gallon oil tankers filling-up from the same overhanging pipes and hoses.
So, a "boycott" staged against a single brand of gasoline just doesn't work, because the same people doing the boycotting are simply switching from one brand of gas to another, and ultimately contributing to Big Oil while paying the same high prices.