There’s a driving force on Facebook called “No Gas Day.” today March 31 2011.
A North Carolina woman fed up with gas prices is taking the fight online.
Sarah Thompson has created the No Gas Day Facebook page where she is calling on drivers to avoid all gas stations on March 31. So far Thompson’s page has more than 100,000 people planning to participate in the event. (Sara Thompson has reported to WMASSLocal that she in fact has 1.75 Million people planning to participate.) (Check the comments).
She is one of many people that have created campaigns on Facebook in order to shed light on rising gas prices. Thompson says the effort is not about sending gas prices downward for one day but to send a message.
“This is about taking a stand together against greedy people whose commodity happens to affect all other commodity prices,” Thompson says.
The page describes the event as a way to reach as many people as possible to have a day designated to boycott all gas stations.
This comes on the heels of already higher pump prices this spring and more increases are expected this summer. Home heating prices in the Northeast were averaging at about 3.60 a gallon. Today the OPEC set price for a barrel of oil is set at about $110.
Conflict in the Middle East and fighting in Libya prompted government analysts to raise expectations for gasoline prices by 50 cents a gallon in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook released Tuesday. The Energy Department boosted its per-barrel oil estimate by $9 for the peak driving season.
The report says there is “significant uncertainty surrounding the forecast” and pump prices could spike above $5 this summer, which would threaten the all-time highs reached at the beginning of the recession three years ago.
Users on the site are concerned gas will rise to $5 or even $9 a gallon this summer. The protest was scheduled for today, but there is another one scheduled for April 1st and even ongoing protests which call for boycotting gas on Mondays. By filling up the day before the protest, organizers hope oil companies lose millions if not billions of dollars.
“I think its a good idea, but I don’t think it will make a difference unless they get enough people to do it,” says James Norton. He thinks social networking on sites like Facebook can be a priceless marketing tool. “Were you surprised to see it? Not at all, actually thought about doing it myself. How much do you spend on gas for your truck? $120 a week.”
Meanwhile, drivers like what they’re seeing online, rather than outside at the pump. “I have a small car, takes me 60-dollars to fill this car up. Absolutely Ill enjoy the protest 100-percent.”