It is easy to hate Big Oil. Gasoline prices are at record highs, above $3 a gallon. The oil companies have so much money, they can not know where to spend it.

So when an email arrives encourages people not to buy gas, May 15 - saying it would take nearly three billion dollars from oil companies "for one day" and promises a 30 cent for a drop in gas prices is awfully tempting to go along, while enjoying the little bit of guilty pleasure to know you stick to Exxon Mobil, Chevron, B.P. or what ever oil company sells gas on your block.

Do not be fooled.

"One day boycott makes no sense," said Tyson Slocum, energy program director for Public Citizen, a national organization of consumer protection. "There is no need to reduce consumption if you're just going to make it up on the next."

The chain e-mail calling for a boycott has been present for several years.It doesn't appear to have originated from any consumer or environmental organization.

"It's one of those strange things that come through the Internet," said Slocum.

Many of the "facts" the e-mail address are deceptive or just flat out wrong.

The promise of depriving oil companies to $ 3 billion per day assumes all Internet users in the country are filling their cars with gas on the same day, which is absurd.

And what about the falling price of 30 cents per gallon, which claims the e-mail has been returned in a similar boycott in April 1997?

"It's absolutely urban legend," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Office of Petroleum Price Information, which tracks gasoline prices for motorists organization AAA. "There was such a fall."

Kloz said he expected the price for all the months of April 1997 and said the whole month, they do not move more than one crown.

September prices did not move is that people continue to use the same amount of gasoline a week or a month. Energy Information Administration, which follows the demand for gas every week, saying he would never have been observed decline in demand in the spring of each week, which could be related to the boycott.

6 ways to lower gas prices
Gasoline purchased in bulk and traded on a futures market for deliveries arranged months in advance is a commodity whose price is sensitive to long-term trends, not one day blips. If people do not buy gas on Tuesday, they'll just buy it on Monday or Wednesday.

Without the purchase of coffee, newspapers, or muffins that the store owners, most of them franchised stations and make very little profit off of gasoline can be trusted to keep the stores open.

Paul Fiore, a spokesman for the service station dealers of America and Allied Trades, said its members are not worried about a boycott because in the past year, not many people attended.

"We hope people understand that they do not cause harm to the oil company, but the small business owner," he said.