Better plan to get gas prices down? Read the article (below) over, his facts are quite interesting - and if he's right that just a turndown of 1% overall or 1 gallon less per consumer of gas per month would work, it'd be interesting to see what would happen. Excerpts from: -------------------- YOUR MONEY: DRIVING PAINS Americans have the power to lower gasoline prices --- but they still insist on hitting the road. By Brendan M. Case Dallas Morning News Published on: 05/27/07 Want gas prices to fall? Use less. "If half of American drivers pledged, and followed up on the pledge, to use 1 gallon less gasoline in the month of June, the market would plunge," said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J. "The difference between a perceived tight market and a sloppy or weak market is about 1 PERCENT WORTH OF DEMAND" (caps mine), he explained. Kloza estimated a 1 percent dip in demand could slice 30 cents to 50 cents off wholesale gasoline prices. Gas prices have climbed the last three months and now top $3 a gallon in many places. That's putting pressure on household budgets as Americans head into the summer vacation driving season. ... In fact, motorists are spending about the same —- on an inflation-adjusted basis —- as they did in March 1981, when prices peaked. Also as a percent of household spending, gas is a better deal now than then. Gasoline and oil purchases accounted for something more than 3 percent of spending in 2005 and 2006 —- down from the high of 5 percent in 1981, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The proportion was also in the 3 percent range through the '60s and most of the '70s, before actually drifting below that mark in the mid-1980s and early '90s, as real prices dropped. The blip back up hasn't curtailed purchases. "Consumers are demanding more, and they're willing to pay for it," said Peyton Feltus, an energy expert in Dallas. "I know consumers won't like to hear that. But the price is not high enough to throttle demand." To be sure, this doesn't take the sting out of standing at the pump as the numbers click higher. Money spent on gasoline means less for children's shoes —- or, more likely, dinners out. Stores cited rising gas prices as one reason for April's falling retail sales, an unhappy development for an economy fueled by consumer spending. And it's not like it's just one individual's usage that's pushing up prices. The cost of oil, which accounts for about half the price of gasoline, has been affected by burgeoning demand from developing countries such as China and India —- not to mention political concerns in such oil-rich countries as Iran and Nigeria. Closer to home, refinery glitches have pushed up prices. But underlying the oil market's daily ups and downs is American consumers' huge and growing appetite for fuel. Gasoline use has risen steadily this decade, by an annual average of 1.6 percent between 2002 and 2006, according to the Department of Energy. On a per-capita basis, the average American used nearly 9 percent more gasoline in 2005 than in 1970 —- before the oil shocks and gas lines of 1973 and 1979. The United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, uses up to a quarter of the world's annual oil output. So what Americans do does count. Nationally, prices are averaging more than $3 a gallon, and analysts reckon they will stay up most of the summer. How can individual motorists lower their gas consumption? One way is to buy a more efficient vehicle. A Toyota Prius averages 55 miles per gallon, compared with a Chevrolet Suburban's 17. Don't like buying foreign? A Pontiac Vibe with an automatic transmission gets a combined average of 31 mpg. Of course, not everyone can go out and buy a new car... For them, Uncle Sam has other tips: > Slow down. Speed is expensive. Each five miles per hour you drive over 60 is like adding 20 cents per gallon of gas because of lower fuel efficiency, says the government Web site www.fueleconomy.gov. > Drive sensibly. Rapid acceleration and braking lower gas mileage. > Remove excess weight... (LOL clean out your trunk and/or back seat! -V) > Avoid excessive idling. > Maintain your vehicle. A $200 tuneup can improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, according to the government's fuel economy Web site. Replacing a clogged air filter ($25 or less) can boost mileage by up to 10 percent. And keeping tires properly inflated (free) means both lower gas mileage and increased safety. > Plan and combine trips, and carpool to work. Going to the supermarket once a week instead of twice burns up less gas. Only 8 percent of American commuters deign to double up, according to a 2005 poll. ------------------- What do you more-educated economists out there think?