"gas out" e-mail - question about specific claim relating to gas prices in April 1997

In my in-box I just got an e-mail starting out like this:
“NO GAS…On May 15th 2007
Everybody: Don’t pump gas on May 15th”

Yes, I am fully aware of the snopes article on the subject:

My question is relating to a “fact” mentioned in the e-mail:

Is there any “proof” of an overnight gasoline price drop of 30 cents? I’m assuming the e-mail relates to US gasoline prices. I realize also that even if such a drop happened overnight, it does not mean that it was related to any “gas-out”. But I’m curious if such a big change did happen overnight. I surely don’t remember it and I’m tempted to reply to the e-mail forwarded with the word CITE??? in a 72-point red bold font.

As far as I know, there has never been any organized gas boycott that did anything. It would be impossible to realistically get enough people together to make any noticeable effect.

Mr Roadshow from the San Jose Mercury new said today that the reduction in prices is a myth.

In April 1997, I was probably paying in the neighborhood of $1.00 / US-Gallon of gasoline, and I’d certainly have remembered a 30% dip in prices.

Here is a very interesting commentary on this very subject. He puts to rest the “30 cents a gallon drop” business, along with a link to statistics on the DOE website.

There was definitely a 30-cent drop in 1997 (See Chart), but it looks like it happened gradually over six months. According to MSNBC, gas prices in April 1997 (supposedly the month of the boycott) dropped less than a penny per gallon.

Also, it looks like the first “gas out” was in 1999.

If you find anyone that believes there was a 30 cent drop overnight in gas prices, send them to me. I have this nice shinny bridge I would like to sell them. Or maybe they would be interested in some ocean front real estate I have in Montana.

Hey, why is the MSNBC Answer Desk better and more interesting than Cecil’s answers?

Retire already, you old coot!

Well, be prepared for some trouble with this one, because it isn’t unheard of around here for the price to go down 30 cents mid-day (the corrections never happen “overnight”) now that prices are up in the $3.00+ range. That’s equivalent to a 10 cent drop when prices were $1.00 a gallon, not unheard of then, either. :slight_smile:
Now, if we are talking about the nationwide AVERAGE, oh, yeah, I’m in agreement. :slight_smile:

I can look later on tonight when I get home. I’ve kept logs of the gas I was using in my car for 16 years and I usually get gas once a week. I should have something for around that time period. I don’t remember any 30 cent drop in prices ever. Even now prices around here drop a couple of cents a day at most, though I’ve seen them go up ten cents a day though.

Edward, if you could take the time to look that would be great.

Ok here’s the prices I have, most likely for Frederick, MD where I was living at the time. All for the month of April 1997.

4-1 1.28
4-6 1.27
4-8 1.27
4-13 1.44 (93 octane)
4-20 1.26
4-26 1.24
4-29 1.24

I don’t see any serious price drop at all, it seems the price from the begining of the year through June or so ranged from 1.20 to 1.35. Even the 93 octane looks to be about the same since you can cut .15-.20 cents.

Bet they didn’t think someone would keep records like that huh?

Holy crap, going back through some of these dates I have prices as low as 0.84 in January of 1999. I don’t remember them being that low! It looks like it was under a buck for a good six months before that and then went up over a buck around March.

I do. RitzyRae lived 200 miles away back then and we were dating. If it weren’t for 75 cent gas, we wouldn’t have seen eachother near as much as we did.