Gas prices spark push for boycott - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Gas prices spark push for boycott

Conway, SC -

By Brandon Herring - bio | email

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - With the average price of gasoline in South Carolina 47 cents a gallon higher than just a month ago, many people are searching for a way to get fuel costs under control. On Facebook more than 150,000 people have pledged to participate in a "Gas Strike" on Thursday.

That's an idea Soni Dhimo supports. While stopped at a gas station in Myrtle Beach Wednesday he said prices are getting to the point that they are affecting his everyday life.

"You make life decisions at the pump," Dhimo explained. "You can't spend half your paycheck on gas every month."

While he likes the idea of boycotting gas purchases for a day, he said is not sure it would have any effect on prices.

"Honestly I don't think it will work, but more power to you. Thank you," Dhimo said referring to the creator of the Facebook event. "I'll try with y'all. I'll leave my car in the middle of the street with no gas in it."

Other drivers were not sure it will work either, but they said it will not hurt either. So they believe it is worth a try.

"I don't know if it will make a big difference, but on the other hand do we just stand here and take it?" Charmaine Burrows asked. "If nothing else, it might make people feel better that they might have made a statement - maybe someone will listen."

At the Rivertown Depot in Conway, owner Jimmy Gerald said his gas station may be hurt by a one day boycott, but it will have no effect on oil companies or gas prices.

"It could send a symbolic message to [oil companies and elected official in Washington, DC], but they don't get it," Gerald said. "Symbolic messages don't get through to this bunch."

Gerald said he feels the only way to really keep gas prices lower is for federal lawmakers to put oil in reserves and not trade it on the stock market where the price can be inflated before it is sold. He said it will take a lot of pressure from voters to make that happen.

So he said making a statement for a day will not have any effect on gas prices. He said a one day drop in demand just is not enough.

"If it's going to make any difference you would need to do it for 30 days, and let's face it, how many of us don't have enough gas in our tanks to get us through the next two days?" Gerald said.

Economist Robert Salvino at Coastal Carolina University agreed that a one day gas boycott will have little or no effect on gas prices. He said it is much more likely to negatively affect local gas station owners like Gerald instead.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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