Facebook has recently become the source of revolution. Facebook was used in Tunisia and Egypt recently to ignite citizens and to organize protests. In the United States, Facebook is also being used to start up a new revolution. While this one may not protest dictators or unfair political rulers, it does organize a protest of higher oil prices. And do they have a trick up their sleeves.
The people organizing this rally have designated April 15th as a day where no one will buy gasoline. They believe that the decrease in oil revenue from this day will send a shockwave through the oil producing community and make them consider lowering prices. If the entire US were to do this, I could see the usefulness. As it stands on March 21st, however, the Facebook group has 885,765 people participating in this day. Let’s look at the facts.
United States oil consumption is about 20.75 million bbl/day, and 9 million bbl of this goes directly to gasoline. Assuming that every person in the US uses the same amount of gas per day, this comes out to 25,631 bbl saved. This amount, however, is only 0.285% of the gasoline used daily, and 0.124% of oil used daily in the United States. Even more amazing, this amount comes out to be an almost negligible 0.0366% of worldwide oil consumption in a day.
Numbers and statistics aside, this will fail from a logical standpoint. The people who are so eager to “protest” on April 15th will no doubt scramble to the pumps April 16th to make up for lost oil from the previous day. Oil companies feel nothing.
Going back to numbers and statistics, we as Americans have it very good when it comes to gas prices. Gas prices in the Netherlands & Norway top $6 US/gallon. We, as a country, have the lowest gas prices when we take into account the fact that we produce so much less than other countries. Is America just stubborn in that we refuse to cut down on frivolous spending and use the money towards savings and essentials? I say ABSOLUTELY.
On the Facebook page, several people stand by me and say that one day won’t do anything. In response, some people have said things like “better to try and have failed than to never have tried at all.” True, but if the people in Egypt started a half-assed revolution without real information, they, too, would have failed. If we’re going to try and make a difference, make it a better attempt than this.