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What if your email address could demand respect?

Lowering the price of gas

There is an email that, on regular occasion, walks the Internet suggesting we select the largest American oil company and boycott it at the pumps. Here is a sample of the email: http://www.breakthechain.org/exclusives/exxon.html

The basics of its argument is: If we boycott (Exxon for example) we would force prices down, not through lowering our consumption (because the author suggests we can do this without "hurting" ourselves) but through the creation of a price war. My initial reaction is this; Based on the popularity of this message, and its circulation, I am concerned that there is a large portion of the population buying this argument.

Here are just a few dynamics working against the process suggested:

1) Prices for "anything" are set by supply and demand? Exxon service stations are purchasers of gasoline, they can only drop their price so far. Additionally, if there is no present alternatives the supplier will simply move their stock to channels willing to pay market price. (Hence my next statement.)
2) Exxon, corporate, sells fuel through other distributors, and other countries for that matter.
3) Exxon manufactures and sells petroleum products other than gasoline. Products that we "over-consume".

Not to say, this problem has no solution, but everyone seems to be looking toward someone else to foster the correction, yet we hold the key to the solution in our very hands.

The process of price correction is simple, and it won't hurt at all. In fact, I would argue that it might bring many of us closer together and build stronger community ties.

I'll be posting a follow-up as to how Americans could dramatically reduce consumption. I urge you to post your comments, suggestions or solutions as, ultimately, this is a community effort that can only be addressed by working together.