Will a pump protest hurt big oil?

LAWTON-- You probably gotten the message, don't buy gas today.  If you pass up the pump, it'll hurt big oil.  It's tempting, because gas prices in Oklahoma are at an all-time high $3.09 in most places.

An e-mail has been circulating, calling on everyone on Myspace to protest these high gas prices by not pumping gas today.  The e-mail claims the boycott would cost oil companies more than $2 billion in just one day, but would this boycott really work?  7 News researched this claim on Snopes.com, a website that exposes internet hoaxes and myths.  This is an urban legend that's been recycled since 1999.

Even if the more than one hundred million MySpace members protested buying gas today, drivers would still have to buy gas the next day.  And even if oil companies took a significant hit on the day of the protest they would easily make up the difference the very next day.  "It is a commodity, and it is a commodity that is built into our lifestyles," said local gas station owner Lynn "Fluffy" Mason. "If you don't buy gasoline tomorrow, you probably will buy it the next day, and your statement will not be heard."

So if you're really serious about saving money on gas here are some great ways to do it.

- Fuel economy is always better on a long road trip than it is when you're driving stop-and-go around town.  So apply this theory to your every day driving, the less you idle, the less you stop, the more steady you drive, the better your gas mileage.

- Driving poorly does affect your gas mileage, so if you're a considerate driver, you might notice a significant difference.  Your gas economy is affected when you accelerate or brake quickly.

- When you drive faster than the speed limit  you'll hit more timed traffic lights,  increasing the amount of times you have to stop.

- If you really want to save money on gas, just don't drive.  You can ride the LATS bus through town, you can walk and "Friends of the Trail" is currently creating a bike trail around town so you can ride.

- If you simply must drive carpool and consolidate your errands around town so you travel the least distance.

Even though some experts predict gas prices to spike above four dollars this summer, our local AAA representative Chuck Mai says he does not expect that to happen here in Oklahoma.

All of us know gas prices are regulated by supply and demand so the only way to effectively boycott oil companies is to stop buying gas altogether, not just on one day.