Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gas pains

If you own a vehicle you know how much it can suck on wallet. Sure there's all the maintenance and insurance and incensing costs, but you' also got the daily pain of having to fill the tank. If you're lucky enough to work close to where you live then when the prices get a little crazy you can simply ride the bus or bike to work. For some (like foolish little old me) that is a less viable option. My 50+ minute commute can easily be done by train or bus if I'm willing to spend about 2 1/2 hours every day on a simple combination of four buses and a train. Not to mention that the public transit route would cost me $17.00 a day which adds up to a lot more than my car does over a year.

This whole process of shelling out for fuel is made more complicated here in Canada by our fuel companies who put our wallets at the mercy of their whim. We have just undergone a painful spike in price caused by a fire at a refinery that resulted in some serious price gouging by the big oil companies. I find it interesting that only one company had a fire and all the companies instantly raised their prices. Sure there would be increased demand but usually it comes after people hear the news about the fire not before. The news reported that the production at this facility would be back to normal by last week and we are still paying those higher prices. They are probably going to last a while longer yet as the companies are unwilling to relinquish those sweet extra dollars just yet.

Being here in Canada we enjoy much lower gas prices than much of the world but being Canadian we like to complain. Our weather, our politicians and our gas prices are all favourite topics. The gas one rages on and spills over to the politicians when we feel the squeeze and the cycle continues on. We pay extra and demand that politicians do something about. Politicians say their hands are tied and the gas companies finally ease up and lower their prices to a level slightly higher than prior to the whole event. People see the drop and are content to pay an extra 5 cents a litre because it’s better than the extra 25 cents they were paying for the past two months. Around and a round we go with people doing little to change the whole process.

This is where the Hollis family has decided to draw a line in the sand. We’ve all had the emails about boycotting a single brand of fuel for a period of time, but have we done it? Not likely. They decided that after hearing all sorts of the customers at their used car lot complain that they need a small car that is good on gas and can’t afford to get a bigger car or nicer truck. They want the people of Canada to do a rotating boycott for a month on each company in order. They will announce the first of these companies on March 28th with the ban beginning on April 1st. Their website has all the details and a link to purchase bumper stickers to show your solidarity. In the spirit of the internet culture we are becoming they even have a video up on youtube.

Will it work? Only time will tell if we get enough people behind it. April should be a fun month if we do.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's such a pain in the ... engine to keep on having to go through this gouging.

11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Interesting. I hope it works. Maybe more energy can be used to come up with more reliable alternatives to petrol though.

Not here in the states though. God forbid

11:51:00 AM  
Blogger MilkMaid said...

All the more reason to ride a motorcycle. :)

12:38:00 PM  
Blogger mrhaney said...

i will be very surprised if many people do this. we all like to complain about stuff but it is difficult for us to get together as a whole to do what we need to do. it is a great idea though.

8:36:00 AM  
Blogger DutchBitch said...

Hmm... when I saw the title of the post I had a totally different idea of what the post would be about... must be my nasty mind...

9:46:00 AM  
Blogger Minerva said...

And we pay so much here (uk) too. But the climate is changing (no pun intended) in that I think climate change has really made people think about not using their cars so much, or car sharing and stuff...

Good luck with the plan though,

5:18:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

This is old news. This idea has been around for a few years.
You might even remember it.

A few years ago a group of guys, here in this fair city, tried something similar. They set up a 1-800 # which you could call each day and find out which company they were boycotting. You could also leave them encouraging messages on their voicemail, which I did.

I truly hope this idea works this time around, because it's a great one, with much potential.

8:24:00 PM  

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