Myth or fact? Gas prices would drop if everyone stops filling up for a day
Published Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:18PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:30PM PDT
It wasn’t that long ago Canadians were furious when the price at the pump hit a whopping 52 cents a litre. Some were so livid they organized a protest, urging drivers to boycott gasoline for an entire day.
Their theory? The 24-hour demonstration would force gas companies to lower their prices.
Back then organizers campaigned through email and the idea didn’t really take off.
But today, armoured with tools like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, online groups are trying to fuel that momentum. They figure you can’t knock it, until you try it.
"It sounds like a great idea and I know people are very frustrated by this," saidGasBuddy.com petroleum analyst Dan McTeague – but he doesn’t think it would work.
For one, organizers would have a hard time convincing everyone. Firefighters, police, taxi drivers, delivery people and others likely couldn’t take part.
Some argue a ban might actually have the opposite effect. If a lot of drivers rush to fill-up the day before the protest, there would be a run on gasoline which would create a shortage, and cause the price at the pump to go up.
"The reality is you have a supply shortage, and unless you have a way of reducing demand, or increasing supply, you are going to continue to pay these high prices," said McTeague
Proponents argue social media makes these campaigns easier than ever to pull-off, and empty gas stations would certainly send a message.