BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Could a gas strike work? One expert doubts it

Jul 6, 2022, 9:35 AM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 2:44 pm

A woman pumps gas at a gas station....

Gypsy Cottam pumps gas even as prices rose to more than $5 a gallon at a Chevron in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 9, 2022. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY  — A gas strike in Arizona caught social media attention recently, but an energy analyst from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute said it will be our leaders who make the biggest difference on gas prices, not a strike.

Western states are seeing higher gas prices than the national average, according to AAA, and some people are trying to figure out if there’s anything to be done. Tucson residents attempted to start a gas strike in hopes of driving down the prices at the pump.

Thomas Holst, an energy analyst at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah said of the protest, “In theory, the organizers are correct. In practice, it will be hard to pull off.”

Holst said it would be too hard to get enough people involved to be effective.

A gas protest or strike would need to dramatically lower the use of fuel– the likes of which have only been seen in the spring of 2020.

“Short of another pandemic, I’m pessimistic that a grassroots effort in Arizona will have the same impact as the worldwide COVID pandemic,” Holst said.

President Joe Biden and other international leaders are our best hope for getting the gas price crisis under control, according to Holst.

“Getting Saudi Arabia to increase their production, I think, that has a better chance than some of the other alternatives,” he said.

Holst said wars always increase fuel costs and said it’ll take more action from leaders to help bring costs down. International leaders are also working to put a price cap on Russian gas exports in an effort to inhibit Russia’s war efforts.

“I’m optimistic that either the president or the G7 will develop strategies that will help the global crude oil market,” Holst said.

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Could a gas strike work? One expert doubts it