The national average for gasoline on Tuesday, according to AAA, was $4.80 per gallon -- a decrease of almost 10 cents over the past week. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
July 5 (UPI) -- With gasoline prices still high, but declining, some users on social media called for a national boycott over the holiday weekend.
The proposal grew out of a video on the social platform TikTok last month that called for drivers to boycott gasoline nationwide From July 3 through Tuesday to coincide with the July 4 weekend.
"People are trying to organize a boycott, and hopefully that will bring the price of gas down. This has been done before, it has worked before," the creator of the video said.
That particular video had been viewed more than 15 million times.
Since the video was posted, the price of gasoline in the United States has steadily come down. The national average rose to a peak of $5.01 per gallon in mid-June, according to AAA. On Tuesday, the average was $4.80 -- a slight decrease from Monday and a decrease of 8 cents over the past week.
The surging gas prices have been largely attributed to limited capacity at U.S. and foreign refineries, increased summer demand and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
President Biden has taken multiple actions to bring down the cost of gasoline and has called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, which would instantly lower the cost by 18 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI
President Joe Biden has taken steps to combat the high prices, including ordering the release of an extra 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve and authorizing the sale of E15 during the summer months. Last month, he also called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months.
Congress has not yet moved to suspend the gas tax, which would save drivers almost 20 cents per gallon.
Patrick De Haan, an analyst for the price database Gas Buddy, says that it's unlikely that a short-term boycott would be effective in bringing prices down.
Some supporters for the boycott pointed to a similar situation in 2008 as evidence that a boycott can be effective, but De Haan said there were certain additional market conditions 14 years ago that helped bring down the cost of gas -- most notably the financial crisis.
According to AAA on Tuesday, California has the nation's most expensive gasoline, at $6.24 per gallon, followed by Hawaii ($5.62), Alaska ($5.55) and Nevada ($5.51).
North Carolina has the least expensive gas, at $4.29 per gallon, followed by Georgia ($4.30), Mississippi ($4.31) and Louisiana ($4.35), according to AAA.