We're Paying a Higher Price for Gasoline than we Realize
For every gallon we buy, additional costs are being imposed. Estimates of the true cost of gasoline range from $6 to $20, compared to the average U.S. price of $3.59 per gallon. Who’s footing the bill? The environment, our public health, taxpayers, developing countries, the military and future generations.
What is FullGallon?
FullGallon is a growing social enterprise that empowers individuals and organizations to voluntarily claim these "external gasoline costs"–the costs we impose on our environment, health, and future generations, but don't pay while we're filling up at the pump.
This indiegogo campaign is striving to connect with passionate individuals to continue to build the community, form partnerships and to scale up the organization–all while beginning to claim gasoline's true costs to fund alternatives and offset damage.
Ultimately, FullGallon is raising awareness of artificially low gas prices, facilitating public discourse and empowering passionate citizens to fuel change.
How it Works
Upon contributing to the campaign you'll receive an email asking for your input on the recipient organization(s) you would like to vote for in the campaign, including an overview description of each organization and its use of funds. Feel free to vote for more than one, but your vote will be split between the organizations you choose.
The final list of proposed recipient organizations (funders get to vote on) includes one or two organizations from each of the following categories:
1) Clean energy research, development and support (e.g. a clean tech incubator)
2) Specific clean energy projects (e.g. a solar panel project for a school)
3) Smart growth and mass transit organizations (e.g. Smart Growth America)
4) Environmental remediation (e.g. carbon offsets and the Environmental Defense Fund)
5) Public health organizations (e.g. asthma support for low income families)
6) Veterans support (e.g. nonprofits dedicated to health of service members returning home from overseas)
Upon completion of the campaign, the three organizations that receive the most "votes" will receive 50%, 30% and 10%, respectively, of the total amount the campaign raised. The remaining 10% will be used to scale up FullGallon as described below (primarily web development).
Note that upon the launch of the FullGallon website, we anticipate allowing participants to choose the level of funding they would like to provide to FullGallon for its operating costs, ranging from 0% to 10% of their total contribution (rather than a fixed rate).
Claim the True Cost of Gasoline
FullGallon's indiegogo campaign enables participants to select a desired amount of costs to claim vs. defer onto others. Claim as little as five cents per gallon (which equates to $2.28 for the average American driver over a one month period) all the way up to $5 per gallon ($228 for the average driver over one month).
Each perk is based on an average American's driving habits–about 13,000 miles per year in a vehicle that averages 25 miles per gallon. Feel free to adjust your contribution if you drive more or less than the average driver (or contact us if you need help!).
Fund Alternatives, Offset Damage, Grow FullGallon
90% of contributions will be donated directly to three registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, similar nonprofits, or social enterprises that you help choose based on what you care about most. The three organizations will be decided on by compiling all votes from the campaign's funders (each funder = one vote).
The available recipient organizations fall into two categories:
- Funding fossil fuel alternatives–clean energy, mass transportation, public policy and urban planning;
- Offsetting gasoline’s damage–environmental restoration, carbon offsets, public health and veterans’ support.
The remaining 10% of funds will be utilized to enable FullGallon to grow through the following means:
- Web development (currently underway and self-funded; estimated $20k);
- Infographics -- a specialized infographic team will clearly, dynamically convey Full Gallon's cause (in contract stage; cost of $5k);
- Marketing and branding -- broaden awareness of artificially low gasoline prices and grow FullGallon's audience to fuel change;
- Research to expand and update knowledge of gasoline's true costs -- stage 1 costs will cover travel to meet with economists specializing in the subject and relevant consulting fees from experts; stage 2 costs will fund primary research to develop the most comprehensive, independent and up-to-date estimate of the True Cost of Gasoline yet;
More on Gas Prices...
More recently, in 2007 the Earth Policy Institute compiled an updated estimate (pdf) of the True Price of Gasoline using the ICTA's previous study, as well as more recent updates from them and other sources. The Earth Policy Institute estimates the following hidden gasoline cost breakdowns:
|Category of Cost We Do Not Pay at the Pump||Cost per Gallon|
|Environment, Health and Social Costs||$5.98|
|Subsidies - Production and Consumption||$0.42|
|Supply and Shipment Protection Costs||$0.48|
|Other Externalities - dependence & price shock risk, etc.||$3.35
|Total Additional Costs (that we don't pay at the pump)||$10.23|
A visualization of the Earth Policy Institute's estimated ranges of the True Price of Gasoline is seen below based on four categories of hidden costs (as shown above). An aggressive estimate is seen in red, a conservative estimate in orange and the average in green. The blue bar represents the average retail price Americans currently pay ($3.59).
Exploring prices in other countries offers additional perspective on estimates of gasoline's true cost. For example, Norway pays close to $10 per gallon (despite being a major oil producer), while the Netherlands pays around $9. Europe on the whole averages $7.44 per gallon.
Moving further east, Australia and New Zealand hover around $6.50, the Japanese and South Koreans pay around $6.75, while Hong Kong pays a full $8.15 per gallon of gas.
On the other end of the spectrum, it's primarily the Middle East and Venezuela that pay less than the average price in the United States. The mere six cents per gallon paid by Venezuelans demonstrates just how subjective gasoline prices have become.
A Few Examples of Potential Recipient Organizations Funders Vote For:
All funders will receive formal documentation that 90% of the campaign's total funds raised were provided to the three organizations you help choose within 15 days after the close of the campaign (we are happy to make such documentation publicly available). Formal documentation of the 10% of the campaign's total funds being utilized to scale up FullGallon will be provided within 60 days of the campaign's close.
FullGallon, nor anyone involved in FullGallon, has any pre-existing relationships with any of the organizations that will be offered as potential recipient organizations (relative to the 90% of the campaign's funds being allocated to recipient organizations).
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions of any kind! Thanks for your support!