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VERIFY: No, the July 3-5 gas boycott will not lower gas prices

Joseph Von Nessen, a research economist with the University of South Carolina, said it comes down to supply and demand.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The average price of gasoline in North Carolina is under $5 according to AAA, but a social media push is asking people to boycott the pumps in the hopes of driving down prices this summer. 

It's all over TikTok. People are asking drivers to not fill their tanks from July 3 through July 5, in the hopes that prices will be drop and set back to where they were months ago. AAA predicts 42 million Americans will drive over 50 miles for the Fourth of July, but the grassroots social media campaign is trying to change minds one car at a time. 

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THE QUESTION

Can a three-day-long boycott drop or reset gas prices?

OUR SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, a three-day-long boycott will not reset or lower gas prices. 

WHAT WE FOUND

People on social media said this same boycott happened in 2008 during the recession and prices dropped after. If it did, Wright said there was no record of change. 

“If history shows this, we have never seen anything in AAA that something like this can really move the needle as gas prices concern," Wright said.

Von Nessen said it comes down to supply and demand.

“Prices do go down in response to a decline in consumption but only if the decline in consumption is for a decline for a good period of time," Von Nessen said.

Wright compared it to fasting before a holiday meal. 

"What if you decide right before Thanksgiving, you fast and then you eat a turkey on Thanksgiving Day, you get extra calories and extra desserts all of that," Wright said. "OK you might have fasted but then you eat the entire fridge, so how are you moving the needle?"

Both said no matter what day, people are still buying gas. AAA Carolinas added North Carolina gas prices are dropping but could go back up closer to the holiday weekend. 

Contact Austin Walker at awalker@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.


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